*originally posted on Front Porch Forum*
I'm writing to express my concern over the direction of the MAUSD school consolidation plan. The proposal put forth last night is going to dismantle our small town schools and create irreversible damage to our communities. I'm a resident and mother of a 2 year old in Lincoln. The idea of creating an "innovation site" at LCS only serves to take the control away from towns and put it in the hands of the school board. These "innovation sites" will effectively close our schools and do so at the hands of elected officials and not the town residents. It is a semantic trick.
Lincoln Community School is the hub of our small town. Even without having my daughter enrolled in the school, the school serves as a connector in our rural community. It is especially important to invest our money and energy in LCS, not the reverse. Among the loss of our community hub and Lincoln identity, I worry our children will be spending exorbitant amounts of time on a school bus, whether it be to bus them to BES or the proposed middle school in Vergennes. Vergennes is, at least, a 45 minute drive from our home in Lincoln, and that's without a school bus of kids to pick up/drop off. LCS is the place for Lincoln's elementary aged kids. We are a mountain town and our school reflects our community values and sense of place.
If we strip our towns of their schools, what next? Will the libraries follow suit? Next, our town offices? Will we effectively erase the smaller communities in Vermont in favor of consolidation and short term cost savings? Are we allowing the extreme cost of health insurance for teachers to undermine our children's education and change a community forever?
Superintendent Reen's proposal is unacceptable and quite frankly, sneaky. We must act and stand together at the local and legislative level in support of our children and our schools.
Coco Moseley, Lincoln VT