Vermont votes to drastically reduce number of school districts

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

By the time Rep. Johannah Donovan stood on the House floor Tuesday evening to pitch a bill that would shrink the number of Vermont school districts from 273 to about 50, her committee had been wrangling with the idea for three-and-a-half months.

“This is not an easy vote for any of us. Our schools are at the heart of our communities,” said Donovan, a Burlington Democrat who chairs the House Education Committee.

The House debated the issue for about four hours Tuesday night before voting 75-62 shortly after 10 p.m. to advance a bill that would set the stage for a six-year process to change the way those schools are governed. Even if the measure passes, the dramatic change is unlikely to waltz easily into law as lawmakers are just two weeks from adjourning for the year.

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