Addison, Vergennes To Re-vote Unified Union

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(Host) Voters in Addison and Vergennes will be headed to the polls Tuesday to weigh in again on whether the Addison Northwest Supervisory Union should become a unified union district.

Two-thirds of the voters in the supervisory union’s five towns approved the measure on Town Meeting Day. But petitions forced re-votes in two towns.

The proposal would allow the Addison Northwest’s three elementary schools and one high school to be governed by one 12-member school board, instead five boards under the current governance structure.

School Board member Kristin Bristow says it’s all about efficiency:

(Bristow) "It’s very difficult with declining enrollment and increasing costs to keep your costs per pupil at a reasonable rate, and if we band together you get a large student base to get the cost per pupil."

(Host) The cost per pupil number is important under Vermont’s education funding structure, and supporters say a unified union could stabilize tax rates for member towns.

Opponents have voiced concerns about what the change would do to tax rates in their individual towns.

This is the third time Addison Northwest has considered a unified union. The proposal was approved last year, but then shot down by a re-vote in the town of Addison.

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