Act 46 is a Trojan horse sitting in the middle of every town in Vermont.
I have been to meetings, I have read all the paperwork handed out by our local Act 46 committee, I have watched the online videos, read all the questions that are posted on the website, and have been reading editorials and comments in all the biggest Vermont newspapers.
Some good questions are being asked. Some incorrect information is being put out there. It seems that there are no answers to 50%-plus of the questions.
I do believe the local committees that have been formed to come up with a plan for their town/towns have done a lot of hard work. But I don’t believe the local committees have been given enough information by the Vermont Legislature to make intelligent decisions nor to answer questions raised at their meetings.
It has been strongly stated by legislators that this is going to bring more equity to each student, but they haven’t explained how this is going to happen. What is the equity bullet aimed at?
When there are statements made that no student is going to be transported by bus to another school, that no teacher is going to be transported by bus to another school, but that classes are going to be more evenly balanced with the same number of boys/girls, and the same teacher is going to be used at each school for special classes, how is that going to happen without transportation by bus? Are people going to suddenly learn how to fly?
When it is suddenly stated that the towns that have made a side-by-side plan (or one of the other plans) may also possibly be sharing the same CLA and possibly the tax rate, this makes me shudder. Now the Vermont Legislature is not only going to rule the local decisions on schools but also the local decisions on the tax rates and getting their hand solidly on the way each town is running their own business and voting on their own Grand List and budget.
And to me, this is exactly where Act 46 is headed. If you vote yes on this Trojan horse that is sitting in the middle of your town, and you don’t know what is inside this Trojan horse, you are going to pay the consequences.
If you vote yes on Act 46, the Vermont Legislature can unload anything they want from this Trojan horse, and you are going to take it because you approved Act 46.
I believe changes have to be made in the way schools are teaching these days. I truly believe that Act 46 is the worst plan that has come down the pike from Montpelier. I truly believe that our legislators need to get a grip on reality and come up with an understandable formula that keeps local schools in local towns, that keeps local votes in local towns, that keeps town business in local towns.
Our old-time legislators came up with working formulas that kept business local and didn’t put townspeople in a position to take potshots at the townspeople in the next town over. Can’t our current legislators come up with something that works as well and that the average Joe can comprehend ?
So take Act 46 out of the formula – it’s a horrible idea and I can’t see that it’s good for any reason. I believe we should all vote to send it back where it came from. And then tell our legislators that they need to see if their collective brains can come up with something that keeps our young students and our town businesses in our own town where they belong.
I will be voting my no against Act 46 even though I have no children in school, and will have no grandchildren in school. But I am a product of Wardsboro schools, and I am a parent who did have children in school in years past.
Please educate yourself on Act 46 before you vote on Town Meeting day.