Letter to the editor: Ripton has many reasons to withdraw from ACSD

In discussions with people in the Addison Central School District, I find, as an advocate of Ripton withdrawal from ACSD, that many people do not know why Ripton voted to withdraw from the District. Here is why I believe Ripton is seeking withdrawal:

• It is best to have our own school right here in our town where our young children can be taught and cared for as an integral part of our community. That is why we built and paid for our town school. For 27 years after our school was built in 1989, we successfully educated our elementary children in Ripton, elected our own school board and voted our own budget. This is the situation we wish to return to.

• In the Ripton community we have the interests of our own children in mind and in heart, and believe that we know them better and understand their needs more completely. We want to provide our children with a quality education in our school and bring into our school the very best professional educators and caregivers.

• There is a democratic vision in which every Ripton citizen has a right to a voice and vote in the education of the town’s children. This vision is what we prefer over the prospect of a town with no school, whose citizens have no voice in the education of their children, and whose vote within the larger district is so small as to have no influence.

• Ripton parents have a right to convenient access to their children’s educators and to the school in which their children learn. Sending our children to two different schools in two different towns will not afford Ripton parents that right. Nor will that situation benefit our students.

• Sending our young Ripton children to schools where 20 or more is the standard for classroom numbers will not be an advantage for them, or for any ACSD students. Also, splitting Ripton children between Salisbury and Middlebury further divides their community.

• In a democracy, the right of voters in Ripton and in all towns to elect their own delegate(s) to represent them on their school board must be granted.

• The residents of a town who decide to build their own school have the right to decide to close that school. It should not be the prerogative of another town or a district school board to close that school unless the town ratifies the decision.

• Ripton does not want to be a burden to or have a negative impact on the other ACSD towns. Our effort to withdraw is because we value our school and do not want it closed.

I do not pretend to speak for all the people of Ripton. But if you find these reasons rational and justified, I hope that you will vote to release Ripton from ACSD on March 2.

Millard Cox


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