Vernon Will Leave Brattleboro High School District To Pursue Alternative Act 46 Plan

Jul 19, 2017

The town of Vernon voted Tuesday to leave the Brattleboro Union High School district.

Vernon voted 238 in favor of leaving the high school district, and 47 against the move.

Vernon is the only town in the district with school choice, and Vernon school board member Kerry Amidon says the town didn't want to give up choice to take part in the district Act 46 merger talks.

Amidon says Vernon does not yet know how it will proceed with its independent Act 46 plan

"Our next step is to figure out how to move forward," Amidon said. "Right now the best thing we  could do was to pull out of the district."

Brattleboro, Dummerston, Putney and Guilford have been working on an Act 46 merger plan for almost two years, but the other four towns couldn't put a plan together while Vernon was a part of the high school district.

Under Vermont law all of the other towns in a union district have to support a town leaving and Dummerston twice voted against Vernon leaving  the Windham Southeast Supervisory Union.

Legislators put a special provision in an education bill this year that allows Vernon to leave the BUHS district without getting approval from the other towns.

Amidon says some Vernon students will probably still go to BUHS, with the town paying tuition, but with the vote Tuesday students that want to use their voucher money can go to a school outside of the district.

"I think this vote does show the importance to our community for protecting school choice," Amidon said. "This was a necessary vote that we needed to take to allow the Act 46 study committee to move forward."