Wardsboro’s school can be closed without the residents of Wardsboro voting on this issue. As the current Articles of Agreement for the proposed merger with Dover are written, Vermont law allows the unified school board to change or delete the articles in the agreement.
The only way to ensure Wardsboro residents will be able to vote on closing Wardsboro’s school is if all specific wording regarding school closure is written in the warning as a subsection to the first article on the warning for the merger.
The warning for the ballot we vote on does not include all the necessary words about school closure. So, voting no on the May 1, ballot is the only way to ensure Wardsboro residents have a say regarding the closure of our school.
If you vote no, the Articles of Agreement and a new warning for unified school district can be changed to fix this and other problems in the proposed agreement.
The State Board of Education has approved language for other towns’ Articles of Agreement proposals that do a better job of protecting the rights of the townspeople to have a voice in decisions made for their children and schools. Those towns’ warning for the vote include the language needed. We should have that too!
We can work with the citizens of Dover, but we need better articles of agreement and a better warning for a unification vote to help ensure a sound, equitable partnership.
In addition, the Vermont legislature is close to voting on amendments to Act 46 that extend the deadlines for voting to merge and for the “incentives” offered by the state. There is much support for these changes to the law.
The voters of Wardsboro have an important decision to make that affects the future of our school and community. Please take the time to go to the Wardsboro Town Office and vote. You may vote early (this week) at the Wardsboro Town Office during office hours. On May 1, the polls open at 10 am and close at 7 pm.
I will be voting no and encourage you to join me.