Island towns vote on high school supervisory union

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(Host) In the five towns on the Lake Champlain Islands, voters are deciding this town meeting day whether to form a school supervisory union. The vote is a first step toward building a high school to serve the towns of Alburg, Isle la Motte, North Hero, Grand Isle and South Hero.

Currently the towns tuition 600 high school students to schools in Franklin and Chittenden counties in Vermont, and schools in New York state. Opinion is split on creating a new high school for Island students. South Hero native John Roy says he likes the current system:

(Roy) “You know, the north end of the county, they can go over into New York state, or over east into Saint Albans and Swanton; the southern counties go down into Burlington, Essex, Milton. And it’s a great – we’ve had school choice for a long time out here.”

(Host) In North Hero, school board member Susie Hillman says she’s voting in favor of the supervisory union:

(Hillman) “I moved to a small town because that’s how I wanted my children raised. And so for me to send my children off to the big city every day, sorts of defeats that purpose. So I personally think that communities are responsible for teaching their children and I would love to see it happen.”

(Host) And Susan McBride Crowley says she’s concerned about what the towns might be giving up:

(Crowley) “The opportunities are more at a bigger school, certainly they’ll get more offered in drama, arts, sports and stuff like that. So I think they should have that chance.”

(Host) Tuesday’s vote comes at the end of a lengthy study on whether the Islands can support a high school. The last time the towns took up this issue was in 1968; it passed but was rescinded in a second vote.

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