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Merger Update

Transition Timeline

First page of the PDF file: Timeline

__________________________________________

May 23, 2019

To the parents, taxpayers, business leaders, and residents of the Barre community:

Thank you. It has been a long road. The work toward a merged district began four years ago and has involved a lot of meetings; some differences of opinion; and far too many trips to the polls. But despite the challenges of the past four years, we've managed to keep one thing at the forefront of our decision making: Our children's education. With the passing of our first merged budget, we now get a break from the polls until next March.

I've spoken often about the "Barre Pride" we all share, and I feel that strongly today.

So thank you. To every student, every parent, every staff member, every administrator, every board member, and every voter who supported our budget and essentially said, "Let's move forward." Please know – we take your confidence in us seriously, and we will do everything we can to live up to the trust you have placed in us.

With sincere thanks, 
John Pandolfo, 
Superintendent of Schools 
Barre Supervisory Union

 

 

April 2, 2019

BOARD ELECTIONS for the BARRE UNIFIED UNION SCHOOL DISTRICT - April 9, 2019

The legal voters of the Barre Unified Union School District who are residents of the City of Barre and the Town of Barre, are hereby notified and warned to meet at  their respective polling places:  Barre City residents meet at the Barre City Municipal Auditorium and Barre Town residents meet at the Barre Town Middle and Elementary School gymnasium;  on Tuesday, April 9, 2019 between the hours of seven (7:00) o’clock in the forenoon (a.m.) at which time the polls will open and seven (7:00) o’clock in the afternoon (p.m.) at which time the polls will close;  to vote by Australian ballot upon the following Article of business:

ARTICLE I.          To elect nine members to the Barre Unified Union School District Board for the ensuing term, commencing upon being sworn in, as follows:

   ~ Two (2) School Directors from Barre City for a term ending March 2020, elected by the voters of Barre City.

   ~ One (1) School Director from Barre Town for a term ending March 2020, elected by the voters of Barre Town.

   ~ One (1) School Director from Barre City for a term ending March 2021, elected by the voters of Barre City.

   ~ Two (2) School Directors from Barre Town for a term ending March 2021, elected by the voters of Barre Town.

   ~ One (1) School Director from Barre City for a term ending March 2022, elected by the voters of Barre City.

   ~ One (1) School Director from Barre Town for a term ending March 2022, elected by the voters of Barre Town.

   ~ One (1) School Director elected at-large from Barre City and Barre Town for a term ending March 2022.

To see a Barre City sample ballot, use the following link: 

https://www.barrecity.org/client_media/files/Clerk/election%20information/Sample%20ballot%204-9-19.pdf

To see a Barre Town sample ballot, use the following link:

http://www.barretown.org/Town_Clerk/Sample_Ballots/04-09-19%20final%20ballot.pdf

 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The legal voters of Barre Unified Union School District are further notified that voter qualification, registration and absentee voting relative to said election shall be as provided in Chapters 43, 51, and 55 of Title 17, Vermont Statutes Annotated.

 

March 8, 2019

WHY SO MANY VOTES?

During this time of transition, this is a question which is being frequently asked of our Town and City Clerks, Town and City Officers, School Board members, and me.

Under the forced merger process defined by Acts 46 and 49, there are two required votes and one optional vote:
1) (OPTIONAL) To amend the Default Articles of Agreement.  THIS VOTE OCCURRED ON FEBRUARY 19.
2) (REQUIRED) To elect a School Board for the New Union District.  THIS VOTE IS WARNED FOR APRIL 9.
3) (REQUIRED) To approve a budget for the next school year.  THIS VOTE IS TENTATIVELY PLANNED FOR MAY 14.

Prior to the forced merger, Barre City and Barre Town each voted two times (in November 2016 and November 2018) whether to merge voluntarily, and Barre Town voters twice filed petitions forcing reconsideration votes (in January 2017 and January 2019).

Additionally, the current district boards of the Barre City School District, Barre Town School District, and Spaulding Union High School District need to continue operating our schools through June 30, 2019.  Since the terms of some of these board members expired on March 5, 2019, elections needed to happen on March 5 to fill those expired seats.

If our initial budget vote passes this spring, we will not need to have any additional school votes until next Town Meeting Day, and will hopefully have only have one school vote per year after that.

 

 

February 20, 2019

With the vote to amend the Default Articles of Agreement now successfully behind us, the next step in the merger process for Barre is to elect the Initial Board of the New Union District.  Based on the amended articles, this will be a nine-member board, with four school directors from Barre City elected by Barre City, four school directors from Barre Town elected by Barre Town, and one at-large school director from either Barre City or Barre Town elected by both communities.

Elections will take place on Tuesday, April 9 in both Barre City and Barre Town.  Petitions for school director seats are available from the Barre City and Barre Town clerks, as well as at the Barre Supervisory Union Office.  Petitions must be submitted by the end of business day on Monday, March 11 to the appropriate clerk’s office; at-large petitions can be submitted to either clerk.

In the initial election of school directors, the terms of office will be as follows.  A term must be indicated on the petition before any signatures are gathered:

 

Town

Term ending March 2020

Term ending March 2021

Term ending March 2022

Barre City

2

1

1

Barre Town

1

2

1

At- Large

0

0

1

 

Once elected, the Initial Board of the New Union District will take over from the Transitional Board, and the Transitional Board will cease to exist.  The first meeting of the Initial Board is tentatively scheduled for Thursday, April 11, and one critical charge of the Initial Board is to warn a public vote for the FY20 budget for the New Union District.  The Transitional Board continues to develop a draft budget which will be turned over to the Initial Board in April.

For clarification, there are still elections scheduled for March 5 to fill the expiring seats on the current district boards of Barre City, Barre Town, and Spaulding High School.  Those boards will continue to be responsible for the operation of the schools through June 30, 2019.

 

January 21, 2019

In its Final Report and Order on Act 46, the State Board of Education has ordered that the Barre City School District, the Barre Town School District, and the Spaulding Union High School District merge into a single district, to be called the Barre Unified Union School District (BUUSD). Barring any action from the legislative or courts, the new district will officially begin operation on July 1, 2019 with a single school board, a single budget, and a single set of policies.

In preparation for becoming operational as a single district on July 1, there are many things happening:

  • An Amendment Committee was formed to consider changes to the Default Articles of Agreement which the State Board of Education provided for Barre in its Order.  That committee has met and developed Amended Articles of Agreement which will be up for a public vote on February 19.  If approved, some of the default articles will be replaced with articles developed by the Barre Merger Study Committee over the past year.  A Public Informational Hearing is scheduled for the night before the vote.  You will find links below to the different versions of the Articles of Agreement, as well as the Warning for the February 19 public vote.  Minutes from the Amendment Committee meetings can be found on the right side of this page.
  • The Transitional Board of the BUUSD has been formed, as ordered, with two members from each of the current Barre Town, Barre City, and Spaulding Union District Boards.  This six-member board had its Organizational Meeting and Initial Meeting on January 10. Minutes and Agendas from meetings can be found on the right side of this page.  This board is charged with planning and preparing for operation of the BUUSD until an initial board is elected (elections are currently planned for April).
  • The Initial Board Elections and Organizational Meeting are planned for April.  If the public vote on February 19 is positive, the Initial Board will be made up of nine members – 4 from Barre Town, 4 from Barre City, and 1 at-large.  If the public vote on February 19 is negative, the Initial Board will be made up of four members – 2 from Barre Town, and 2 from Barre City.  Once organized, the Initial Board will continue preparation for operation of the new district.
  • The Initial Board will warn a budget vote, which is planned for mid-May.
  • In addition to the new boards, the current boards of the Barre Town, Barre City, and Spaulding Union Districts need to continue operating until June 30 and beyond as necessary to close out business.  For this reason, board seats which expire this Town Meeting Day will need to filled, so on March 5 there will be elections for these seats, along with votes on articles necessary to continue operation until the districts cease to exist.

The State Board of Education’s Official Order of the merger of the Barre City School District, the Barre Town School District, and the Spaulding Unified High School District can be found at the following link:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1BwRQP3eeGksfohbr0GV29vK5GdooVemU/view

The State Board of Education’s Final Statewide Plan in its entirety can be found at the following link, with the sections addressing Barre on pages 25, 26, and 31:
https://education.vermont.gov/sites/aoe/files/documents/sbe-act46-final-report-order-statewide-school-district-merger-decisions.pdf

The Default Articles of Agreement the State Board of Education has developed for Barre can be found at the following link:
https://education.vermont.gov/sites/aoe/files/documents/sbe-final-report-and-order-default-articles-barre.pdf

The Amended Default Articles of Agreement to be voted on by the public on February 19 can be found at the following link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1WfuQlpm2bSLNlcd8PLAxL5Aj0gAKtyaDuhxmCEqg2B4/edit

The Articles of Agreement prepared by the Barre Act 46 Merger Study Committee can be found at:
http://bsuvt.org/joomla/images/meetingmins/Act-46/Committee2/Final%20Articles%20of%20Agreement%202018-7-30.pdf