Barre Town School District in Vermont is going to do all it takes to avoid forced consolidation with Barre City School District

The Vermont Legislature passed an act for forced consolidations of school districts. And those districts are fighting back with every weapon in the arsenal. :smile:

Despite having the same name, Barre City and Barre Town are two different municipalities, Barre City being the inner core and almost completely surrounded by Barre Town, which is less dense and in some ways resembles a Township rather than a Town.

The two municipalities both voted on November 6 regarding consolidation, with Barre City voting by an extremely heavy margin, greater than 2/3rd, in favor, while Barre Town voted by an equally heavy margin, greater than 2/3rd, in opposition. The concurrence of both municipalities was required for voluntary consolidation. With voluntary consolidation dead, mandatory consolidation would be triggered.

However, in an emergency move, Barre Town has scheduled a vote on November 28 on the question of shutting down its elementary school. The students would then be tuition-ed out to the school of the parent’s choice, which likely will be the existing elementary school, sold and reopened as a private institution. Doing so would legally block the forced consolidation.

BTW, the school in question has about 20 students. :smile:

It is a classic example of the sheer force of parochialism that makes any sort of school district consolidation impossible, particularly in States such as Illinois and Vermont, etc, that need it.

And I would not be at all surprised it Barre Town pulls this off and avoids the forced consolidation.

My brother lives in PA. The township structure that they have set up is so inefficient.

It sounds like the parents of those 20 children are putting their money where there choices are and that should buy the difference.

All around the country, private schools are popping up because the public schools are failing to properly educate their children in the opinion of the parents. What’s happening is that so many children come from homes where those guiding them don’t place a high enough priority on education. They do not discipline them to participate and cooperate with their class and teachers. The result is they become disruptive to the entire class and their scores drop. If a parent is willing to cut a check for their kids’ education, it’s indicative of everything else needed for them to succeed. What’s unfortunate is that there are parents who are dedicated but do not have the funds to send their children to private schools. They are the ones in a conundrum all across the nation.

That is not really the issue here. In this case, the parents were evidently happy with their small public school. They were unhappy with the fact that consolidation would force their kids to attend school in Barre City.

The fact that they are resorting to school choice is not a rebellion against their own school, but against forced consolidation with another school district.

It works well enough in northeast Pennsylvania, though their can be some hiccups. Not the most efficient system, but I see little chance at changing it, given the inertia about these sort of things in Pennsylvania. One of my uncles was a township supervisor for 40+ years in the township of my birth and as far as I know, never once was electorally challenged and only his death ended his reign. :smile: In another township, a father/son combination has held a supervisor seat for 70+ years. Townships are one of those things that, unless something really stupid happens, nobody ever pays any attention to them.