Concord Closing?

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concord school2CONCORD- The school budget for Concord did not pass on Town Meeting Day and now, a petition to shut down the high school portion of the Concord School has been signed by 51 residents.

The petition was submitted last week, according to Essex-Caledonia Supervisory Union Superintendent, Brian Rayburn. As of now, a new budget has yet to be proposed. 

"It's always a challenge when these sort of things come along," said Rayburn, "Concord's not new to this, they've had this [happen] in the past."

Voters of Concord shot down the $4,760,302 budget proposal, with some voicing their concerns.

"At this point, we're spending so much money trying to educate the high school kids that it's really taking away from the K-8 program," said Concord taxpayer Cynthia Stuart, "I'm personally in the position that I think many folks are [in], that if it doesn't close this time, we will actually sell our property there and elect to move elsewhere."     

Stuart, who did not sign the petition due to being out-of-town, has two children who attend St. Johnsbury Academy, not the Concord School.

"My kids were able to get everything from engineering classes to culinary [classes] to be[ing] able to take sports that they would never have the opportunity to take at Concord," Stuart said.

Other members of the Concord community believe the school should remain open.

"This community is bonded by a school," said Jay Young, a parent of 6 students who went through the Concord School and then went off to college, "I've seen kids come here that were doing poorly in bigger schools [then] they came here and they were raised and they did really well and they went out of here confident and ready to face the world."

State Representative Connie Quimby agreed by saying that members of the community must support the school.

"I come from a long line of family that's school supportive," said Quimby, "I've always believed that a community should be behind their school. It's the center of town; the community should work together to make it the best it can be."

The school board meets on March 23 to discuss the future of the Concord School. A special town meeting tentatively scheduled for late April, according to Rayburn.