At the April 4 school board meeting the Wardsboro School Board voted unanimously to support the district merger with Dover. At this meeting representatives from the Agency of Education answered questions from the public regarding Act 46 and explained the options for the Wardsboro School under the law. The representatives made it clear that without changing the current pre-K-6 structure of the Wardsboro School and possibly giving up secondary school choice, there are no other available structures to pursue.
The representatives also made clear the significant financial implications to Wardsboro. Wardsboro currently receives a small school grant and a hold harmless protection in case of a drop in student enrollment. Both of these would be removed if we do not comply with the law. In addition, funds to help the new district board during the transition would not be available, and tax incentives for the next four years would not be given to Wardsboro taxpayers.
The school board is tasked with overseeing the operations of the school, and the town looks to the school board for leadership and direction for issues related to the school. By voting unanimously to support the articles as written, we are sending a clear message to the citizens of Wardsboro that voting yes to the merger with Dover is the best yes for the school and town. The merger provides for additional educational opportunities for our students by sharing resources with Dover. The articles also specify that only the town of Wardsboro itself can close the school with a vote by Wardsboro residents.
If anyone has further questions regarding this issue, the school board will be holding another informational meeting on April 24, 2017, at 6:30 pm at the Wardsboro Town Hall. Since this is a re-vote, for the merger to pass it will need a majority of votes with at least 54 votes in favor. Please take the time to vote on May 1 at the Wardsboro Town Office. Absentee ballots are also available if you are unable to be there on that date.
and Dwight Boerem
Wardsboro School Board