Essex Junction, Town of Essex, Westford Vote in Favor of School Merger

ESSEX JUNCTION, Vt. & TOWN OF ESSEX, Vt. - According to officials, Essex Junction, the Town of Essex, and Westford have voted in favor of the school merger.

Essex Junction Preliminary vote:

  • Yes: 999
  • No: 122

Essex Town Preliminary vote:

  • Yes: 1,154
  • No: 183

Westford Preliminary vote:

  • Yes: 422
  • No: 207

Under the article, in order for a new union to be formed, both Essex Town and Essex Junction must vote yes.

There has been some confusion about School Choice as it relates to these Act 46 mergers. The State Board of Education released a memo in late September to clarify the law.

Speaker Shap Smith issued this statement regarding the merger:

"Today was an important test for Vermont’s new education reform law. Residents of Essex Junction, Essex Town and Westford voted to become the first towns to create an expanded school district under Act 46. I am pleased that these communities will build a unified system that focuses on equity, efficiency and academic opportunity. More and more Vermonters are calling for administrative efficiency and educational opportunity over the 19th century standard of arbitrarily drawn districts. There is a growing base of support for change, with community conversations taking place all across the state. Today’s votes are proof that neighboring towns can form partnerships to make education governance reform successful. We must continue the good work of creating 21st century school districts so communities, administrators and teachers can help students achieve success. If more communities follow suit, I am confident Vermont’s education system will be made stronger for the future."

 


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