North Bennington Voters To Decide On Independent School

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Town Meeting Day voters in North Bennington will decide whether to give their school board permission to close the North Bennington Graded School.

The school would then re-open as an independent school under contract to the North Bennington board.

School Board member Eva Sutton is part of a committee that has already asked for state permission to operate an independent school.

Sutton says the North Bennington school performs well. But projected declining numbers will make it hard to avoid state penalties for higher-than-average per-pupil spending.

(Sutton) "And our worry is that the budget pressures will be so high that it will affect the program of the school and also the ability of the tax base to support education locally. And the second issue is ongoing conversations that have happened on the state and regional level about potential consolidation."

Sutton says if citizens approve the change, the new school be ready to open by fall. The current principal, Tom Martin, is part of the committee advocating the proposal.

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