- Associated Press - Thursday, May 23, 2019

COLCHESTER, Vt. (AP) - Voters in towns across Vermont are electing members and approving budgets for a series of new, merged school districts ahead of the July 1 merger deadline.

The Vermont Legislature had hoped to delay the mergers, but lawmakers failed to come up with a plan. And efforts to stop the process in the courts haven’t worked, either.

Vermont Public Radio reports that about 30 towns failed to merge voluntarily and were then ordered to do so by the secretary of Agency of Education.

Opponents sued, but In March, a judge refused a request to delay the mergers.

Vermont’s Act 46 was designed to encourage school districts to merge to provide students more opportunities and manage education costs. Districts that didn’t merge voluntarily were required to merge.

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