Small schools defend themselves against push for consolidation

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With increasing talk about a push for cutting costs by consolidating school districts, some of Vermont’s tiniest schools are saying they perform well both academically and economically.

Plymouth Elementary School, Vermont’s smallest, has just 20 students ranging in age from kindergarten through sixth grade. It also has two teachers and a part-time principal.

That principal, Susan O’Brien, said Plymouth has everything the bigger schools have, and costs less per pupil than what the town pays to send older kids to regional high schools.

Others maintain that in many of Vermont’s smallest towns, the school is the community focal point and that closing it would remove much of the town’s reason for being.

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