9-23-15 – Essex and Westford to Kill School Choice, Just Slowly

by John McClaughry

The towns of Essex, Essex Junction and Westford are well along in planning their proposed school merger to get the tax benefits offered under Act 46..

A Vermont Digger article on the subject includes this observation: “There has been some concern that Westford residents may vote against the merger because they fear they would lose choice, but [merger committee chair Brendan] Kinney said that the report includes protections for choice. “We heard loud and clear from Westford that choice was an issue in their community,” Kinney said. The panel decided to grandfather choice for students until 2020. “We felt very strongly about that.”

So let’s see. Westford has a K-8 school but is a tuition town for high school. If your 8th grader wants to go to a high school other than Essex Jct. High School next fall, that choice will be preserved. Hooray! And the youngster will be allowed to complete his or her high school career at that school. But your sixth grader, who would graduate high school in 2020, will have to take his or her senior year at Essex Junction, unless you can cut some “unique circumstances” deal with the unified school board.

The Mergercrats are determined to shut down parental choice, but in Essex they agreed to suffer five more years of it to get the plan approved – while  telling everyone that  “we felt very strongly about that.” Yeah, right.

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