Black River High School students, from Ludlow and Mount Holly, have been studying together at Black River since middle school. But unless a vote held in November is reversed, their school could be closing before some of these students graduate.
In some Vermont school districts, the issues of assets and debt are complicating their Act 46 merger plans. In Putney, voters will weigh in on what to do with the Putney Central School Forest about a week before the district's Act 46 vote.
At the end of the last Legislative session lawmakers extended the deadlines for Act 46, the state's school district consolidation law. As the new Nov. 30 deadline approaches, districts are now finishing up their work and preparing for a new round of votes on the merger plans.
On Tuesday, the towns of Cabot, Danville, Marshfield and Plainfield will vote on merging into one school district under Act 46. If all four towns vote "yes," it will be the beginning of the end for Cabot High School.
Voters in Waterville went to the polls for the third time in a year on Tuesday to vote on an Act 46 school district merger. This time the question passed 113-35, meaning Waterville will be part of the Lamoille North Modified Unified Union when it officially forms July 1.
Vermont's school district consolidation law is at a crossroads. Act 46 was set up in three phases, and the second phase ends July 1. After that, districts that haven't been able to get a merger plan approved by the voters have to put together a so-called alternative structure plan.