Lincoln School District faces difficulty joining supervisory union

Published: Sep. 28, 2022 at 9:34 AM EDT
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LINCOLN, Vt. (WCAX) - The Lincoln School District will hear from the Vermont Board of Education about what’s next after the town received approval to withdraw from the Mount Abraham Unified School District.

A potential merger between Mount Abraham Unified School District and Addison Northwest School District prompted the town of Lincoln to withdraw.

The town of Lincoln was concerned the Lincoln Community School would risk closure and they wanted local control.

The school district said they are now looking to be assigned to an existing supervisory union. That means they’d be a part of another governing body.

The Lincoln School District has reached out to nine Supervisory Unions to join such as Lamoille South, Orleans Central and White River Valley.

But according to meeting documents from the supervisory unions, all nine are not interested based on different geographic and financial concerns.

Lincoln School District Board Chair Jennifer Oldham said in an interview that the goal is to be assigned a supervisory union as opposed to being assigned an independent district, which would require Lincoln to educate all of the students using its own resources.

“What we hope for is just a really transparent process undertaken with goodwill on all sides for what’s best for kids and is based on and recognizes Lincoln’s desire to be part of a governance structure where our small school and our small towns are valued,” Oldham said.

Meeting documents show that neither MAUSD, Lincoln’s original district, nor Addison Northwest school district is interested in returning to a supervisory union structure.

State Board of Education Chair Oliver Olsen said in an interview that the State Board of Education has the authority to forcibly assign the Lincoln School District to a supervisory union even if the supervisory union is an unwilling partner.

Olsen said it’s hard to say where the meeting will go but the situation is complicated because there is no willing supervisory union partner at this point.

The State Board of Education will meet Wednesday, Sept. 28, from 1 p.m. to 5:45 p.m.