Update on Cabot/Danville Merger

Cabot/Danville Merger Update
Posted on 11/05/2018
Important News

State Education Board Decides Against Cabot/Danville Merger   

At its meeting in Clarendon last week, the Vermont State Board of Education rejected an earlier proposal by the Vermont Secretary of Education and voted provisionally not to force the school districts of Cabot and Danville to merge into a single, unified district.

Following the passage of Act 46 by the Vermont Legislature in the spring of 2015, school board and community members from the Cabot, Danville, and Twinfield school districts  researched and discussed for the better part of two years the potential benefits and downsides of consolidating into one large district. Those discussions culminated in May 2017 with a merger proposal that would have closed Cabot High School and allowed high school students in the merged district to attend either Danville or Twinfield High School. The following month, the merger proposal was soundly defeated by voters in both Danville and Cabot.

Last fall, our school board prepared and submitted to the State an “Alternative Governance Structure” proposal describing how Cabot School planned to meet the goals of Act 46 while remaining an unmerged, independent, preK-12 district. That proposal as well as a recent addendum to it are on the Cabot School website at http://www.cabotschool.org.

Assuming that the State Board of Education stands by its initial decision not to force a Cabot/Danville merger as part of its final Statewide Plan of school districts due to be finalized by November 30th, their decision this week marks an end to a long and challenging process for our school and community. In our case, at least, it seems that the State Board recognized that merging school districts into larger ones may not necessarily be an improvement- for those districts’ students or for the communities that support them.

With the large question posed by Act 46 about our school’s future hopefully finally answered, we have no shortage of work ahead this fall and winter. Spreading the word about our school’s high-quality programs, drawing new students and families to our school and community, and developing a budget that can be supported by Cabot voters: we look forward to your input and help with the challenges of remaining a small, independent school district.

Sincerely,

The Cabot School Board

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