School Board Letter on Act 46

Status of Twinfield's Act 46 proposal

The Twinfield Union (TUS) School Board wants to provide the Marshfield and Plainfield community with an update on Act 46 – the Vermont law that required school districts under a certain size to consider changes that would result in larger districts with greater educational opportunities.  As you know, Twinfield pursued a merger with Cabot and Danville.  The merger was approved by the voters of Marshfield and Plainfield but voted down in Cabot and Danville.  All four towns had to approve for the merger to go ahead.  Accordingly, the proposed Twinfield, Cabot and Danville merger was defeated.

On December 26, 2017, Twinfield submitted an Alternative Governance Structure (AGS) proposal to the Agency of Education.  The proposal expressed the willingness of the TUS Board to consider a merger with a like-minded area school district, or at least to be moved to a different, larger Supervisory Union.

On June 1, 2018, the Vermont Agency of Education (Agency) released its report detailing its recommendations for the schools, like Twinfield, that submitted an AGS proposal.  With regard to Twinfield, the report recommends:

Merge the Twinfield Union School District with one or more other districts and/or move it to a larger SU when uncertainties in the region are resolved and the State Board has sufficient information to make a decision, taking into consideration that districts otherwise exempted from merger under the statewide plan are subject to SU boundary changes both under the statewide plan and, separately, pursuant to 16 V.S.A. §261.

The June 1st memorandum is only a recommendation from the Agency Secretary to the State Board of Education (State Board).  It is up to the State Board to decide what action to require with regard to whether and how Twinfield should either merge with another school district and/or be assigned to a new Supervisory Union.  The State Board is required to issue its decision by November 30, 2018.   The TUS School Board understands that the State Board believes it will have enough information by November 30th to make a decision about a Twinfield merger.

The TUS School Board intends to work this summer and fall to gather information about what placing Twinfield in other Supervisory Unions might look like in order to present this information to the community and obtain your feedback.  Our understanding is that the districts that the State Board would consider placing Twinfield in are Barre, U-32 and Montpelier.  It is unclear what level of interests any of these schools have in joining with Twinfield, and what the partnership would entail.  This is the type of information the Board will gather to present to the community in order to obtain feedback on where we go from here.  

Twinfield, along with many other schools, will have the opportunity to meet with the State Board on August 15th to provide input on what our communities would like to see in terms of merging or being reassigned.  The TUS Board would like to have information from the partner schools and the community before the August 15th meeting.

Please look out for additional information on from the TUS Board on Act 46.  In the meantime, e-mail any of your School Board representatives with questions or input on Act 46.  Below is a list of TUS Board members and a link to the full Act 46 report.

Patrick Healy – Chair   

Scott Harris – Vice Chair

Jon Groveman            

Jade Walker               

Lauren Cleary             

Jill Wilson                   

Full report from the Secretary of Education

Subset of report addressing Twinfield, Cabot and Danville
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