New supervisory union adopts budget, sets goals
By Christian Avard
Staff Writer | January 07,2013
A transitional committee has taken steps to finalize a merger between two supervisory unions.
The Windsor Southwest and Rutland Windsor supervisory unions recently approved new goals and a budget for when they become the Two Rivers Supervisory Union on July 1.
The new supervisory union will include the towns of Andover, Baltimore, Cavendish, Chester, Ludlow, Mount Holly and Plymouth and have 1,120 K-12 students.
According to the new board principles, the union will provide more student opportunities, promote efficient fiscal operation, close student achievement gaps, make education accessible for all students regardless of race, gender or socioeconomic status and provide professional development to all schools.
“Clearly our number one goal is to provide more opportunities for students,” Linda Waite, WSWSU superintendent, said. Waite will serve as the TRSU’s first associate superintendent. “We have declining school populations. Our hope is that with the consolidation we can take the money and funnel it toward students’ education.”
Another step was establishing a supervisory union budget. The TRSU transitional board approved a $2.7 million budget on Dec. 10.
RWSU Superintendent Bruce Williams said the budget will streamline costs, save taxpayers money and provide quality education to students. Williams, who will serve as the TRSU’s first superintendent of schools, also said he believed the new supervisory union will not negatively affect students, faculty or staff.
“This is an administrative re-organization. It has no negative impact on school districts,” Williams said. “They set their own budgets, have their own boards and we will save the districts a considerable amount of money.”
Additional budget information will be at the next transitional board meeting. The meeting will take place at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 17 at the Ludlow Elementary School gymnasium.
In 2010, the Vermont Legislature passed Act 153 that encourages supervisory unions to restructure in order to save money and increase efficiency. WSWSU and RWSU are the first supervisory unions to merge in Vermont.
The Department of Education approved the new supervisory union in spring 2012.