Lyndonville- There was a public forum at the Riverside school in Lyndonville to discuss Act 46 and the school district study committee. Members from the community, as well as Local State Representatives, gathered for a public forum to talk about Act 46.
The law was passed by Vermont Legislature in 2015 and its primary focus is to merge school districts in order to consolidate education funding, spending and also governance. Lyndon Institute Headmaster Daren Houke believes parents have the right to choose what school their child goes to. “I’m a strong advocate for school choice,” Houke said. “I think parents have the right to be able to choose that.”
A study group has been created under Act 46 to begin exploring the idea of an N-E-K choice school district. This would include combining small towns such as Kirby, Guildhall and Victory into one district. “There are 10 towns that are currently getting together for a school choice district which provides K-12 choice,” said Houke. “What it’s requiring is every town has the exact same amount of choice and opportunity for students.”
This would affect larger schools like Lyndon Institute and St. Johnsbury Academy minimally. Taking away some students from smaller towns but Riverside School Teacher, Nina Rath, thinks ultimately it will benefit the students.
“I think that the N-E-K choice district is a really great solution for kids in the Northeast Kingdom to maintain the choice that they have to go to the school that’s best for their families and their learning style,” Rath said. “Also meeting the needs of Act 46 and helping consolidate and help save tax payers some money.”
On town meeting day, these towns will each vote on whether or not to join the N-E-K school choice district.