What: The Barstow School Board would like your input on whether the voters should refine the Barstow School Choice options. More specifically, the change being considered is to limit the options to the three public schools used by 95% of Barstow graduates: Rutland High School, Otter Valley High School and Proctor High School.
Why?: The Barstow School Board has set a focus on ensuring all students have equitable opportunities to access a rigorous education. The current school choice model of public and private schools does not allow for equitable access for all students.
Private schools do not enroll students who require services beyond basic education services and many have by-laws that deny access to particular groups of students by such factors as race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, language, culture, ability or accessibility needs, socioeconomic status, citizenship, creed, religion, tribal status.
Public schools are required to follow anti-discrimination laws and provide access to all students.
95% of Barstow families choose Rutland High School, Otter Valley High School and Proctor High School. Many private school options are only accessible to families who can pay the difference between the public school tuition amounts and the remainder of charged tuition. This creates inequitable access for Chittenden and Mendon students.
Wide open choice to public and private schools impacts budget stability and planning.
Taxes in Chittenden and Mendon currently pay for both private and public school choices with no ability to oversee equitable admissions processes.
Impact: Choosing three public school high school options continues to allow high school choice for Mendon and Chittenden residents while ensuring tax dollars are being spent at schools which are academically and financially accessible for all Barstow students.
Barstow School Board will hold a virtual forum to discuss these options on September 9, 2021 from 6:30 to 7:30 pm. The Zoom link will be on the school website the day of the forum.
Reference: Vermont regulations for school districts not maintaining a high school 16 V.S.A. § 827