With two successful votes in hand, the Interstate Merger Committee's next step is to hire a consultant to work with educational agencies and lawmakers to shape a school district shared with Clarksburg, Mass.

The iBerkshires.com  reports special town meeting in Clarksburg last week and another on July 8 in Stamford gave the OK for process on creating a merged school district to continue.

For the committee on Monday night, the goal was to craft a request for proposals for a part-time consultant to work over the next seven months.

A first draft was made off the RFP used last year to hire Public Consulting Group, which did the research to get the process to this point.

There would have to be dates entered and clarification of the funding still available through Clarksburg, estimated at about $35,000, and a review of relevant topics such as contracts, budget apportioning, governance and the legislative process.

The committee agreed that the hours should be no more than 19. There was some concern whether that would be enough time for one person, but "if they're on top of their game, they should be able to do this," said member Carl McKinney.

In all, the consultant would put in more than 500 hours and be required to update the merger committee on a regular schedule. Roberts-Morandi said she would get an edited draft out for the committee members to review and another meeting would be scheduled for a final signoff.

The Vermont Supreme Court on July 1 rejected a request from 33 school boards to delay consolidation and the Legislature failed to pass a measure that would grant an extension. The State Board of Education, however, voted last October to endorse Stamford's exploration of an interstate school district.


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