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Norwich Opts Out of Act 46 Merger With Other Towns

Thursday night in Norwich, Vermont, School Board Chair Neil Odell announced that the town would cease talking with the Thetford, Strafford, and Sharon school districts in regards to school consolidation, in order to benefit those towns.

Act 46 was signed into law in June by the state of Vermont to group schools together in new districts that would be more sustainable to govern and offers tax incentives and planning grants for schools to consolidate. Norwich is part of SAU 70, the Dresden district, which governs Hanover High School.

Students who live in Thetford, Strafford, and Sharon all have school choice and can pay tuition to attend a private school, including Sharon Academy and Thetford Academy. To follow Act 46, Norwich would have to leave SAU 70 or the other above towns would have to give up school choice.

Rather than follow either of those options, Norwich has opted to leave the group so that the three other towns can benefit from the grant money. School choice continues to be the biggest obstacle to Act 46 to date.

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