Vermont, New Hampshire officials ponder school district
CANAAN, Vt. (AP) — Education officials are considering the creation of a third interstate school district between Vermont and New Hampshire to help with declining enrollment.
The proposal would serve students in grades 7-12 in three existing school districts on both sides of the Connecticut River in northeastern Vermont and northern New Hampshire.
Vermont Education Secretary Dan French and New Hampshire Education Commissioner Frank Edelblut attended a meeting with interested locals last week in Canaan, where Vermont and New Hampshire abut Quebec.
“We’re here to support whatever the community decides is best for your kids,” Edelbut said.
School districts in both states also face tax pressures, a need to bolster programs with higher student ratios and building needs.
One option under consideration would have Canaan students attend elementary school in Stewartstown, New Hampshire. The middle school would be in Colebrook, and the high school would be in Canaan.
The superintendents say more work needs to be done before the idea can be presented to voters.
There are already two interstate school districts in Vermont and New Hampshire along the Connecticut River. Another interstate district is under consideration between the southern Vermont town of Stamford and Clarksburg, Massachusetts.
Bruce Beasley, the superintendent of a New Hampshire school district that would be affected by the new proposal, said that many concerns have been raised, from how much money may be saved to how many teachers could lose their jobs.
“As we continue to work on this, those are the answers we are really trying to gain,” Beasley said.
Information from: The Caledonian-Record, http://www.caledonianrecord.com