By Hilary Niles, VTDigger.org
Almost all school districts in the Chittenden East Supervisory Union will merge next summer, voters decided Tuesday, Nov. 4. In Bolton, Jericho, Richmond and Underhill, poll results showed overwhelming support for a voluntary unification. All schools in the district except Brewster Pierce Elementary School in Huntington will be controlled by one school board.
Huntington was the lone holdout in the five-town ballot measure, voting it down 521-285. Residents there will retain a school board for the town’s single-school district.
The “modified” union approved by other towns will include five elementary schools, plus two middle schools and one high school that already are unified as Mount Mansfield Union School District to serve grades 5 through 12 in the five towns.
The newly reformed supervisory union’s single, overarching budget will contain smaller, school-level budgets, said Chuck Lacy, a community member representing the town of Jericho on a 15-member merger committee.
School board membership from each town will reflect each town’s population: four members each from Richmond and Jericho, two each from Underhill, Underhill ID and Huntington, and one member from Bolton. Huntington’s membership on the supervisory union will be maintained because the town’s middle and high school students will continue to matriculate to the union middle and high schools as they do now.