The State Board of Education has laid out its ground rules for a series of meetings that will give school districts a chance to push back against the education secretary’s proposed Act 46 state plan.
In June, acting Secretary of Education Heather Bouchey issued her plan that proposed 18 mergers for districts that did not voluntarily consolidate under Act 46.
Those districts either had their merger plans rejected by voters or they were unable to put together a school district merger plan with their neighbors.
State Board of Education Chairwoman Krista Huling sent out a memo to those districts last week explaining how the forthcoming meetings will be set up.
The board is holding three meetings across the state this summer, and district representatives will get 20 minutes to make their final pitch against the education secretary's forced merger proposals.
The board is asking the district representatives to prepare a presentation of about 10 minutes, leaving another 10 minutes or so to answer questions from the State Board of Education.
"Due to the volume of proposals and in the interest of fairness, the allotted 20 minutes is the maximum possible time available for each proposal,” Huling wrote in the memo to the school districts. “The time will not be extended beyond 20 minutes for any proposal."
More from VPR — Vermonters React To Education Agency's Statewide Merger Proposal, Required By Act 46 [June 5]
The board is also asking for a written response to the proposed plan before the meetings, which are scheduled in Newark, Montpelier and Chester.
The board says it wants “specific data and references to the requirements of Act 46,” to support any proposals that reject the mergers laid out in the statewide plan.
The meeting at Newark School is scheduled for July 18 to hear from school districts in the northern part of the state.
Districts in central Vermont will go before the State Board of Education in Room 11 at the Statehouse on Aug. 15.
And southern Vermont districts will get their chance to present proposals on Sept. 19 at Green Mountain High School in Chester.