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Senate: Vermont school mergers should be voluntary - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Senate: Vermont school mergers should be voluntary

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MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) - As expected, the Vermont Senate appears poised to pass legislation that would lighten significantly the mandates pushing for school consolidation in a bill passed by the House.

At a caucus of majority Democrats on Thursday, senators said they don't want to require school districts to merge. The House had put that in legislation, with backers saying it will increase student opportunities and be more efficient.

A Senate bill described at the caucus would increase financial incentives for mergers and require local districts to study the idea. If a district decides not to merge, it would have to explain why.

Senators expressed confidence that in the waning days of the session, the House will accept their proposals.

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