Editor of the Reformer
The Tuesday, April 26, headline on the column from the secretary of Vermont's Agency of Education read "It's all about the kids." That is baloney. It is about the money. If it was about the kids, why didn't the Legislature and the Agency of Education propose dealing with the schools that are under-performing rather than forcing a one-size-fits-all mandate that school districts consolidate?
A local legislator stated publicly that when the debate about Act 46 was going on that it was two hours into that debate before there was any mention of the "kids." It was all about the money and the savings that consolidation would supposedly bring by so-called efficiencies and economies of scale. Have you ever seen the government save money with economies of scale? Why is it that Windham Southeast Supervisory Union and the district study committee, without giving due consideration to the other alternatives in the law, are on a single track pursuing an accelerated merger of the area schools? It is because of the money, the supposed 10 cent incentive in the first year of consolidation. Some people call it a bribe.
There is a rumor running around that when consolidation was brought up it was for consolidating the supervisory unions (now that would save money) and somehow when it came out of the Legislature it ended up being a law that consolidated local school districts and eliminated all local school boards. What is the rush to bring this issue to a vote? These are dramatic changes to local governance and will have a major impact along with unintended consequences on each of our towns.
Please get informed about Act 46 and its ramifications so that when it is time to vote you can do so knowing full well the consequences of your vote.
Paul E. Normandeau, Dummerston, April 28
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