The law requires districts to merge into new school systems of at least 900 pupils by 2018.At that point, the State Board of Education has the authority to restructure districts that don’t merge or that don’t meet educational quality review standards.Although education spending and property tax rates to support school budgets have continued to climb, Vermont’s public school system has shed more than 24,000 pupils since 1997.Staff and teacher ratios meanwhile have remained constant.
Enrollment in school districts in Erie County decreased 8.5 percent during that five-year span, falling from 126,925 students to 116,104 students.
A landmark document in school reorganization, the Master Plan was the result of studies which assessed local education needs, tax base, community of Interest and other local conditions.
Although not a compulsory plan for reorganization, the Master Plan guided state level efforts to encourage reduction in the still-large number of school districts.
Most were common school districts providing education only through the 8th grade; many were organized around a one-room school.
By the beginning of this century over 10,000 school districts were in existence.