WLC School Board dispels tuition rumors

  • School Board Chair Matt Ballou discusses a resolution to settle rumors in town about schools closing during the School Board meeting at Florence Rideout Elementary School on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ashley Saari

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 9/11/2019 2:39:44 PM

The Wilton-Lyndeborough School Board denied rumors Tuesday night that it plans to tuition out its students to another district, but ultimately couldn’t muster enough votes to establish an official resolution on the matter, saying it wasn’t the board’s responsibility to respond to rumors.

School Board vice-chairman Alexander LoVerme asked the resolution be drafted during the School Board’s meeting on Aug. 27. At last night’s meeting, LoVerme said he had done so because he had been approached by more than one parent asking about rumors that low enrollment would result in students being sent out-of-district to Milford on a tuition basis.

Superintendent Bryan Lane told the School Board and attending members of the public that such a thing had never been discussed in his tenure at the school, or even brought up by the school board, but appears to be a persistent rumor.

In response to LoVerme’s request, Lane had drafted a resolution stating that the School Board was dedicated to maintaining its three schools and educating the children within the district.

The resolution read: “The Wilton-Lyndeborough Cooperative School Board is dedicated to the purpose of meeting the educational needs of the students in Lyndeborough and Wilton. We believe that our students’ needs are best met in our own community schools. Therefore, we are resolute in our intentions to keep the Lyndeborough Central School, Florence Rideout Elementary School and the Wilton-Lyndeborough Cooperative Middle/High School open to meet the needs of our communities.”

However, the board was split on whether it was appropriate to respond to rumors at all.

“If people are starting rumors, they’re not listening to us in the first place,” School Board member Jonathan Vanderhoof said. “It just doesn’t make sense to respond.”

School Board member Carol LeBlanc agreed, saying people with questions should be contacting the SAU or School Board.

Others said it did no harm to clarify their feelings on the subject.

“I think it’s better to communicate more than less,” School Board member Tiffany Cloutier-Cabral said.

“Silence is ambiguous, this is explicit,” School Board member John Clark agreed.

School Board Chair Matt Ballou argued that whatever the School Board’s feelings on the matter, it would be moot, because ultimately, closing a school would be a vote of the school district’s annual meeting, and decided by the residents, not the School Board.

“The district and towns would make that decision,” he said.

The board, which had one member absent, voted 4-4 on passing the resolution. The tie vote resulted in no action being taken.

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

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