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