Letter to the editor

11/04/2019
We, the elected members of the Addison Northwest School District board, are parents, community members, and dedicated public servants. We are tasked with ensuring a rich and robust education for all district students in a way that is affordable to our communities and abides by local, state, and federal requirements. At times we are presented with challenging situations and we are grateful when the Addison Independent helps advance the difficult discussions. For years, we have discussed declining enrollment and rising costs during our public meetings. Some of these conversations have been...
11/04/2019
Migrant workers in Addison County: Well, congratulations to ICE for arresting a hard-working undocumented Hispanic getting groceries on a break from a job local people won’t do! Putting it to our local farmers again! I think the real hero is Middlebury Police Chief Tom Hanley, who said years ago he would not bother hard-working undocumented workers and has kept his word. Thank you Chief Hanley for caring about our farmers! Sheri Bessette Smith Vergennes 
11/04/2019
“If it isn’t good morality, it isn’t good politically,” so said a wise professor from the English school at which I lived a half a century ago. He said this 30 years removed from Munich’s sad surrender to a cardboard strutting bully who demanded Britain and France give up alliance to the well-armed Czechs. We know, of course, how that worked out. Yet we’ve learned naught, and 80 years removed from distant Munich’s shame, we, as a nation, turned our back on friends who fought and died for us. And once again the vacuum left behind a sad, immoral act is filled by players who mean ill, which...
11/04/2019
As a resident of the Mount Abraham Unified School District (MAUSD) for 25 years, I have realized the depth of commitment and caring our community has for the success of our schools, our teachers and our students. As a parent of children who attended school here, I have been witness to the ways this community has supported our kids over the years and how teachers, community members and others continue to support them still. Our schools have always put our kids at the center of their education — providing opportunities and creative options for ALL students, understanding that with education,...
11/04/2019
I recently received a mailer from the ANWSD with information for voters about the upcoming school closure vote on Nov. 5. From the text on the recent mailer sent to voters in the town of Ferrisburgh: “Savings to projected FY21 expenses by closing two buildings: at least $2 million (tax rates will decrease)”. This is not quite right. While the Education tax rate may slightly decrease with the closure of two schools, the municipal rate will rise, causing taxes overall to rise. If voters choose to close Ferrisburgh Central School, the town may purchase it for $1 plus any existing debt. The...
11/04/2019
I was disappointed by the somewhat inflammatory reporting on the ANWSD in the news section of the Oct. 24 Addison Independent. As a parent of two children in the school district, I’d like to thank our school board for their hard work in navigating these difficult choices. I’d like to respond to some of the charges in that article and propose an alternative. First, on the charge of taking undemocratic action, we voted the school board members in, and they are working within their limits and rules to make the best of a bad situation. The undemocratic behavior has actually been at the...
11/04/2019
What makes a school? That question, in various forms, has been asked by many of us over the past weeks. It calls into question our notions of education and the infrastructure in which education is provided. When I reflect on my children’s experiences at Ferrisburgh Central School, I think of the people. My daughter’s second-grade teacher who finally figured out that she had ADHD and wasn’t just a kid who couldn’t behave. Her third-grade teacher who pushed me outside my comfort zone in order to advocate for her placement in a combined 3/4 classroom. The emails and phone calls I received when...
11/04/2019
I have been disappointed with the recent coverage of the issue of school closure in Addison and Ferrisburgh. It has emphasized the drama surrounding the issue, and has not provided the complete picture for the community to have a productive discussion. I also understand the frustration about a lack of communication from the school board. I think the way this has been covered has only served to exacerbate this issue. While I, as a student of the Addison Northwest School District, believe that the alternatives to school closure would do more harm to the students then the closure of Addison and...
11/04/2019
I am writing this letter in response to Angelo Lynn’s editorial: “Let small schools prove themselves” (Oct. 24, 2019). The thrust of this editorial is clear: the Addison Northwest School District Board has carried out its charge in an undemocratic and reckless fashion. There are two points I’d like to make. The first, the members of the board have made immense sacrifices in time and energy for the sake of our children’s education — a remarkably thankless task. Secondly, the school board is trying to cope with a mess brought about by the politics of austerity. Who is to blame for that? Not the...
10/31/2019
In your editorial of Oct. 24, you write: “Surely, when the idea of consolidated governance was conceived in Act 46, no one imagined district boards would rule like kings.” That is incorrect. From the very outset of Act 46 the constant refrain of many of us — at Legislative hearings, State Board of Education meetings and local school board meetings —was that when it comes to governance, you have to assume that the wrong people will eventually come to power. The essential goal should always be to create a system that works even then. That’s the fundamental rationale for checks and balances. The...

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Addison County Independent

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Middlebury, VT 05753

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