- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 1, 2015

ESSEX, Vt. (AP) - A Vermont committee has voted unanimously to move forward with combining two school districts.

The Burlington Free Press reports (https://bfpne.ws/1IMT3FP ) a study committee at Essex High School on Tuesday night voted in favor of a combined school district for Essex, Essex Junction and Westford.

Pending voter approval in those towns, the merger could take effect in 2017 with tax breaks for residents and one school board for nearly 4,000 students.

The proposal includes provisions for Westford, the smallest district where property tax pressure and declining enrollment has caused some residents to worry about the community school’s future.

Committee members expect to present their work to the state Board of Education as early as August.

A public vote on the merger plan has been scheduled for November.

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Information from: The Burlington Free Press, https://www.burlingtonfreepress.com

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