Signed into law during the 2015 legislative session, Act 46 seeks to create a larger school district with fewer school boards for the purpose of:
- promoting equity in the quality and variety of educational opportunity across the state;
- leading students to meet or exceed the Vermont Quality Education Standards;
- helping schools share costs and maximize operational efficiency;
- promoting transparency and accountability;
- at a cost that parents, taxpayers, and stakeholders value.
As a first step, each school board within Orleans Southwest Supervisory joined an exploratory committee to help each member town understand Act 46 and what it means for each community since each town must ultimately decide how it wishes to meet Act 46’s requirements. The OSSU Act 46 Exploratory Committee made headway in identifying common goals between the schools in the OSSU, and each district is currently preparing a report for inclusion in the OSSU’s proposal to the Agency of Education for consideration as an alternate structure.
3410.2 “Alternative Structure” is defined by Act 46, Sec. 5(c) as a supervisory union “composed of multiple member districts, each with its separate school board.” Act 46, Sec. 10(a)(a)(2) contemplates that an Alternative Structure could be different from a Preferred Structure in some other way, “such as … a unified union school district with [an] average daily membership” of less than 900 (which would probably be a member district of a larger supervisory union due to its small size).
In March 2017, the Exploratory Committee ended and the OSSU Act 46 Writing Committee was created. The OSSU Act 46 Writing Committee has begun its work in crafting the Alternative Structure proposal for the Agency of Education. A district template and SU template have been created to address the five goals as stated above and the four components required to meet the Act 46 requirements as an Alternative Structure.
On June 20, 2017, the OSSU Board and its member boards completed an activity which addressed three specific questions as part of the SU template. This activity provided opportunities for board members to further discuss and respond to the expectation of the how the SU will work to provide education for PK-12 students within the SU.
Act 46 Meeting Materials and Resources
OSSU Act 46 Alternative Structure Proposal November 2017
VT AOE Act 46 Timeline
VT AOE Act 46 Fact Sheet
VT Agency of Education (AOE) Website
Alternative Structure Overview
Alternative Structure Rules
OSSU Voluntary Merger Report July 2014