In Essex County, A Small School District Looks To Merge Across State Lines

Canaan-based Essex North Supervisory Union is looking to merge with SAU #7, a school district based in Colebrook, N.H.. (Anna Van Dine/VPR)

Since Act 46 was passed by the Legislature in 2015, small school districts across the state have had to make difficult decisions about whether to merge rural schools. In some parts of the state, geography creates some challenging decisions about how to do so.

The Northeast Kingdom town of Canaan is too isolated to benefit from a school district merger within Vermont.

This winter, a planning committee is finishing up a proposal for what would be the third Vermont-New Hampshire interstate school district. Proponents of the plan hope it’ll be enough to maintain a school system in an area where the number of students is steadily dwindling.

Karen Conroy’s office is in Canaan. At 33-square-miles, with fewer than 1,000 people, the town sits far enough north in Essex County that if you visit, you might get a text from your cell phone provider welcoming you to Canada.

Conroy is the superintendent of the Essex North Supervisory Union, a small district that’s getting smaller.

Read the rest of the story at VPR’s website.