Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin says a new state education law will ensure a quality education for the state's students while "bending the curve" on education spending.
Shumlin made the comments Tuesday in Bolton where he signed the state's new education law.
The law encourages small Vermont school districts to merge in hopes of administrative savings and broadening course offerings available to students.
Supporters of the measure say Vermont's schools currently operate inefficiently due to the tiny size of many districts and small class sizes.
Critics say Vermont's small schools are the linchpins of many communities, and that the legislation represents too much meddling by the state in what should be local decisions.
Since 1998 the number of Vermont students has declined by 20 percent.
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