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Feb 20, 2003 to Feb 6, 2013

Report Hoped For on Tonight's Brattleboro School Board Vote


At tonight's Brattleboro Town School Board meeting there may be a vote taken on whether that board will support the Alternative Governance Structure proposal to the State Agency & Board of Education.  (See a letter to the editor in today's Reformer.)  For those of us living in other towns, it feels just a tad inappropriate -- tho it is perfecty permissible -- to attend other towns' meetings.  But it would be great if the result of this vote could be shared on ibrattleboro.  Thanks to whomever could attend the meeting and let us know.

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Heard the result

I just heard from someone who was at the meeting that after much deliberation the vote was 3-2 in favor of the original Act 46 Articles, but somewhat modified, and with a letter accompanying their proposal to the State detailing the division on the board, and acknowledging the strong Nov 7 town-wide vote against the Articles. Ultimately the 5 WSESU town boards are all over the map.

 
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Brattleboro School Board meeting, 12/20

This was a challenging meeting to witness for this member of the public. The school board chair said directly that public comment was not being taken, though an attendee from Guilford was called upon more than once! Despite the electorate's unambiguous defeat of the study committee's merger proposal on November 7th the Brattleboro school board members who served on the study committee believe it is their job to continue working for the merger.

Why did we vote on November 7th? Was it an advisory vote our an actual decision by the voters?

Why is the Alternative Governance Structure included in the restructuring law if it is impossible to consider?

Are we being being played here?

I would encourage the group working on the Alternative Governance Structure to continue it's work and submit its draft proposal to the Department of Education as planned. I have read this proposal and it is worthwhile putting before the public and the DOE. I was particularly surprised that a member of the school administration was openly arguing with school board members who had perfectly acceptable differences of opinion. I have been a Brattleboro Town Rep for quite a few years and have never seen this kind of behavior. It is customary to interrogate the administration to clarify points of information. But to have the administration openly arguing against elected officials was bizarre.

I finally left because it was too painful to watch this distortion of public process and accountability. The BTSB has apparently voted 3 to 2 to send the defeated merger proposal - defeated in a public vote by a margin of over 2 to 1 - to the DOE. Not the end of the story by any means.

 
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Ugh

Thanks for the results (I was at the radio station playing every version of Sleigh Ride I own....).

So, the big vote by voters with large turnout will be ignored, and we'll merge anyway? If I had kids in school, I'd be planning a boycott or strike.

And some wonder why people think their votes don't matter....

 
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Next steps

Please don't throw in the towel, yet. The November 11 vote still stands as a powerful statement that cannot be ignored. The Alternative Governance committee is still at work and plans to submit its proposal to the Department of Education next week. There are powerful arguments for the DOE to carefully consider the Alternative Plan: 1) it would be a five-town plan instead of the four-town merger proposal, 2) it clearly is offered in response to the voice of the people so loudly registered on November 11, and 3) it addresses the stated goals of Act 46 in a way that will not undermine support for public education in our part of Windham County.

Support the AGS. Contact your state legislators. Look carefully at who is running for school board in March. Consider running for school board in March.

 
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Thanks

Good advice.

Keep us informed if you hear things, too...

 

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