School Mergers

Jared C. Benedict/Wikimedia Commons

Vermont House and Senate negotiators have reached a compromise agreement on an education bill that would require some Vermont school districts to consolidate in order to expand student offerings while saving taxpayer money.

Jared C. Benedict/Wikimedia Commons

A Vermont Senate committee has approved its version of a bill that would encourage school districts to merge into larger ones.

Jared C. Benedict/Wikimedia Commons

As experts and researchers debate the possible benefits and drawbacks of consolidation, the Vermont House has moved an education spending and governance bill that encourages school district mergers to the Senate.

Office of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and the legislature approved a plan in the state budget to encourage local governments and schools to merge and share services over the next few years in an attempt to lower property taxes.  But according to a study by school administrators, attempts at school district mergers in recent years have failed, partly because the public doesn’t want them.

Vermont lawmakers are hoping a new approach will get more school districts to merge.

A plan approved two years ago had one regional school board take the place of local town boards. So far, that's happened just once and voters in some towns have expressed concern about a further loss of local control.

This year, the Legislature passed a bill that provides more flexibility by creating the opportunity for some towns in a supervisory union to create their own single district, even if others decide not to join.