Clarksburg/Stamford Seeking Coordinator for Merger Planning
The Interstate Merger Committee is finishing up details on a request for proposals to continue the next step in the proposed Clarksburg and Stamford, Vt., school merger.
iBerkshires.com reports Northern Berkshire School Union Superintendent John Franzoni was concerned that RFP that had been used for a feasibility study did not adequately express the challenges the proposed coordinator was expected to resolve.
Committee members and school officials reviewed the document on Thursday following a Clarksburg School Committee meeting. The basis was the RFP used to find Public Consulting Group last year. PCG did the background research and developed three possible options for the two towns as well as recommendations for both school districts whether they continued talks or not.
The committee made some minor changes to the RFP, including changing "consultant" to candidate(s) and determining a completion date of June 30, 2020, to coincide with the end of the fiscal year. The coordinator is expected to be funded through grant funds for a total of about 500 hours.
Franzoni also said the coordinator should consider regionalization scheme beyond just Clarksburg and Stamford that could include other school districts.
The two communities began down the path toward a groundbreaking merger two years ago. The idea was prompted by Vermont's passage of Act 46, a measure designed to streamline governance and promote shared services between rural districts. Stamford was assigned to the new Southern Valley Unified Union School District with Readsboro and Halifax, nearly 25 miles away.
Stamford voted not to join that school union two years ago, and a small group began to explore a merger with Clarksburg. The newly formed Interstate School Committee, which is composed of residents and officials from both towns, hired PCG using grant funds provided by both states.
Any final proposal would have to be approved by both towns, both states and the U.S. Congress.