Independent school bill reconsidered - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Independent school bill reconsidered

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MONTPELIER, Vt. -

Vermont lawmakers have tabled a far-ranging bill aimed at placing new regulations on independent schools. But a narrower bill could emerge.

The Senate Education Committee has put S.91 "on the wall" after strong opposition from communities that operate independent schools. Those are schools open to the public and funded with public dollars, but don't have to operate under state regulations.

Now the committee is exploring possible legislation aimed at stopping public schools from converting to independents, as happened last year in North Bennington.

"Is it constitutional for a municipality to simply dissolve itself or for a community to absolve itself of that responsibility? Because it is a responsibility delegated by the state to honor a constitutional right of every student," said Sen. Dick McCormack, D-Windsor County.

The education committee is taking testimony from education experts Thursday, including school officials in North Bennington.

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