The state is allowing school districts that embark on an accelerated path to Act 46 – a state- mandated centralization of governance that will merge school boards throughout Vermont – to devise a series of guidelines that would supplement the law.

Last Wednesday, December 9, the Washington West Supervisory Union (WWSU) Act 46 study committee met to continue crafting 15 articles that they will soon submit to the Vermont Agency of Education (AOE) in their application to expedite the merger.

The committee is working with consultants to better understand the law and its repercussions and to draft these articles. On Wednesday, a number of questions arose about how funds will be categorized and allocated to individual schools by a centralized board.


Fayston board member Jill Ellis wondered what would happen with programs that are unique to each school and are funded by parents as opposed to taxpayer dollars. She cited Moretown’s child care program, MECA, as an example. “How do we assure parents who pay for the program that the money will be kept for the program?” she asked and wondered whether there could be any assurance that programs will be kept in place.

Other board members agreed that the blending of funding sources for these programs would be “problematic” and discussed the possibility of such programs applying for nonprofit status or for channeling those funds through the PTO.


WWSU superintendent Brigid Scheffert Nease said that the board can include stipulations for funding these programs and a clause that they must be kept running but said that members should ask, “Is that really fair to a new board that will govern, to put something in place that they have no authority to change?” She said that if an article is written that prevents the dissolution of a program under any circumstances and that program becomes too costly, it could pose problems for the new board.

Fayston board member Doug Mosle added that the new board “should have the right to eliminate them (the programs) if they’re not working.” Waterbury-Duxbury board member Alex Thomsen agreed and said, “We have to assume that everyone here is working in the best interest of parents, not trying to take programs away.”


Moretown board member and study committee chair Gabe Gilman raised a question regarding how the articles will be regulated if each assemblage of districts within the state is drafting their own unique articles.

“If there’s an allegation that they have been violated, who has the standing to complain, who adjudicates it and what’s the remedy?” He asked whether the secretary of education would oversee these violations and added, “We want to make sure as we write these rules that they are enforceable.”

In a previous meeting, WWSU study committee members decided to proceed with the option for an accelerated merger under Act 46, which would include tax incentives, and the public will vote on the acceleration in late May or early June. Questions about the merger can be directed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..