Act 46 and the future of education in the Deerfield Valley

October 27, 2015 for immediate release and posting:

A public discussion on:

Act 46 and the future of education in the Deerfield Valley

For: taxpayers, residents and participants in the Pre-K /12 education delivery and governance community in the towns of: Wardsboro, Dover, Wilmington, Whitingham, Halifax, Readsboro, Stamford, Searsburg, Windham Southwest Supervisory Union and open to all neighboring districts including those in the Windham Central Supervisory Union

Hosted by: Rep. Ann Manwaring and Rep. Laura Sibilia

What: A meeting to help community members understand Act 46, the significance of the law, and the work school boards and supervisory unions are undertaking.  Chairman of the House Education Committee Dave Sharpe will speak and take some questions.   School boards will be invited to briefly share what they are currently working on and considering under Act 46.

When: Friday November 6th, 2015 6:30-8 pm

Where: Memorial Hall 14 West Main Street, Wilmington

Why:  Act 46 is transformative legislation that was passed in the 2015 Vermont Legislative Session. The law requires all school boards to seriously consider the benefits of working with other towns and districts to improve education opportunity.  The law provides tax incentives for consolidating school boards.  This legislation states an intention to promote increased opportunity for students, protect small schools and preserve school choice.

Act 46 will change the face of education governance and taxpayer accountability in our towns. School districts will need to decide if they want to keep, reduce or expand school choice.  Implementation of the law may change how many of our towns vote their school budgets.  The quality and availability of Pre-K through 12th grade education programs in our towns and the overall region significantly impacts our quality of life, our economic vitality, the property values of our homes, and the grand list values for our towns.

A very significant amount of work, which will have long lasting impacts, is being undertaken by our school boards and administrators.  Almost every one of our boards are talking with other boards.  It is important for our communities to engage with our boards as they begin to identify what educational opportunities our communities want for our students in the future.

Agenda:

6:30 – 6:40 Welcome and explain the purpose of the evening Reps Manwaring & Sibilia

6:40 – 7:15 Rep. Dave Sharpe Presentation/Discussion

7:15 – 7:45 Report outs from local boards

7:45 Questions from public

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