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Windham School Districts Heading Toward Accelerated Merger Vote

Howard Weiss-Tisman
Representatives from the five towns in Windham Southeast Supervisory Union met to talk about an accelerated merger under Act 46, the state's school consolidation law.

School districts in the Windham Southeast Supervisory Union could be voting on a consolidation proposal at town meeting this year under the Act 46 accelerated merger plan.

Representatives from Brattleboro, Putney, Dummerston, Vernon and Guilford met Thursday night to get answers for their respective school boards on the benefits and challenges of merging the school districts.

Alice Laughlin, chairwoman of the Act 46 Study Committee, says the group had a lot of work to do if it was going to get all of the information in place in time for a March vote.

"What's the worst possible scenario of Act 46 for our towns?" Laughlin says. "There are so many benefits but we have not talked about the fears, and as we write this work sheet we should be thinking about those things, so we are writing a document that works for us."

Under the state's school consolidation law districts that are able to get a consolidated district approved before July 1, 2016 receive significant tax breaks.

The WSESU Act 46 Study Committee agreed to begin working with a consultant to put together the consolidation plan.

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