Reasons to Vote NO on Act 46
Problem #1: Inequitable Implementation
• The law was supposed to offer flexibility, but does not.
• Those districts that follow preferred implementation have little scrutiny – those that don’t are slapped with tax sanctions or removal of grants or consultants.
Problem #2: Impact on Local Control and Input
• Vermonters value public participation yet Act 46 ensures that one-half to two-thirds of people serving on school boards will be eliminated of which over half are women.
• By limiting and reducing tax payer participation, Act 46 is in direct conflict with acts such as Act 77 which work to ensure meaningful, broad-based community engagement.
Problem #3: Lack of Authentic Deliberation or Engagement
• Communities are being rushed into implementations by the DOE, VSA, VSBA, VSBIT, and others with more concern for consolidation than genuine review of community needs.
• And if communities do not do as the state directs, the state will do it for them as the state sees fit.
Problem #4: Misleading Ballots
• Mergers are confusing and misleading depending on if the plans are “advisable” or “necessary.” Do you know under which plan your school is working and what the consequences are?
Problem #5: Coercion and Upheaval in Historic School Choice
• Districts with school choice are being denied choice after assurances they could continue and they may have options limited due to required size of consolidated districts.
Problem #6: Lack of Financial Fairness
• Tax breaks go to districts already planning to merge – higher taxes/sanctions for those couldn’t.
Problem #7: Assessment, Tracking, and Evaluation Needed
• Proponents claim many advantages of the act but have no system in place for average Vermonters to evaluate those alleged advantages or for state wide accountability. “Trust Us” is the mantra.
Inequitable education in Vermont adversely affects low income students, those with disabilities, and people of color. (See Education Matters – www.voicesforvtkids.org/wp-content/uploads/Education-Report-2016.pdf .) Act 46 does not address this inequity. Community-oriented approaches and systemic changes need to be studied for the best solutions to school inequity. Support halting the rush to implement Act 46.l,
Vote NO on Act 46
More information is at www.vtschoolsrock.org. Summarized by Dottye Ricks, candidate for Barre Town House