The Vermont Statutes Online
The Vermont Statutes Online have been updated to include the actions of the 2023 session of the General Assembly.
NOTE: The Vermont Statutes Online is an unofficial copy of the Vermont Statutes Annotated that is provided as a convenience.
§ 772. Procedure for formation of an interstate school district — Article II
A. Creation of Planning Committee. The New Hampshire and Vermont commissioners of education shall have the power, acting jointly to constitute and discharge one or more interstate school district planning committees. Each such planning committee shall consist of at least two voters from each of a group of two or more neighbouring member districts. One of the representatives from each member district shall be a member of its school board, whose term on the planning committee shall be concurrent with his or her term as a school board member. The term of each member of a planning committee who is not also a school board member shall expire on June thirtieth of the third year following his or her appointment. The existence of any planning committee may be terminated either by vote of a majority of its members or by joint action of the commissioners. In forming and appointing members to an interstate school district planning board, the commissioners shall consider and take into account recommendations and nominations made by school boards of member districts. No member of a planning committee shall be disqualified because he or she is at the same time a member of another planning board or committee created under the provisions of this compact or under any other provisions of law. Any existing informal interstate school planning committee may be reconstituted as a formal planning committee in accordance with the provisions hereof, and its previous deliberations adopted and ratified by the reorganized formal planning committee. Vacancies on a planning committee shall be filled by the commissioners acting jointly.
B. Operating Procedures of Planning Committee. Each interstate school district planning committee shall meet in the first instance at the call of any member, and shall organize by the election of a chairman and clerk-treasurer, each of whom shall be a resident of a different state. Subsequent meetings may be called by either officer of the committee. The members of the committee shall serve without pay. The member districts shall appropriate money on an equal basis at each annual meeting to meet the expenses of the committee, including the cost of publication and distribution of reports and advertising. From time to time the commissioners may add additional members and additional member districts to the committee, and may remove members and member districts from the committee. An interstate school district planning committee shall act by majority vote of its membership present and voting.
C. Duties of Interstate School District Planning Committee. It shall be the duty of an interstate school district planning committee, in consultation with the commissioners and the state departments of education: to study the advisability of establishing an interstate school district in accordance with the standards set forth in paragraph A of Article I of this compact, its organization, operation and control, and the advisability of constructing, maintaining and operating a school or schools to serve the needs of such interstate district; to estimate the construction and operating costs thereof; to investigate the methods of financing such school or schools, and any other matters pertaining to the organization and operation of an interstate school district; and to submit a report or reports of its findings and recommendations to the several member districts.
D. Recommendations and Preparation of Articles of Agreement. An interstate school district planning committee may recommend that an interstate school district composed of all the member districts represented by its membership, or any specified combination of such member districts, be established. If the planning committee does recommend the establishment of an interstate school district, it shall include in its report such recommendation, and shall also prepare and include in its report proposed articles of agreement for the proposed interstate school district, which shall be signed by at least a majority of the membership of the planning committee, which set forth the following:
a. The name of the interstate school district.
b. The member districts which shall be combined to form the proposed interstate school district.
c. The number, composition, method of selection and terms of office of the interstate school board, provided that:
(1) The interstate school board shall consist of an odd number of members, not less than five nor more than fifteen;
(2) The terms of office shall not exceed three years;
(3) Each member district shall be entitled to elect at least one member of the interstate school board. Each member district shall either vote separately at the interstate school district meeting by the use of a distinctive ballot, or shall choose its member or members at any other election at which school officials may be chosen;
(4) The method of election shall provide for the filing of candidacies in advance of election and for the use of a printed nonpartisan ballot;
(5) Subject to the foregoing, provision may be made for the election of one or more members at large.
d. The grades for which the interstate school district shall be responsible.
e. The specific properties of member districts to be acquired initially by the interstate school district and the general location of any proposed new schools to be initially established or constructed by the interstate school district.
f. The method of apportioning the operating expenses of the interstate school district among the several member districts, and the time and manner of payments of such shares.
g. The indebtedness of any member district which the interstate district is to assume.
h. The method of apportioning the capital expenses of the interstate school district among the several member districts, which need not be the same as the method of apportioning operating expenses, and the time and manner of payment of such shares. Capital expenses shall include the cost of acquiring land and buildings for school purposes; the construction, furnishing and equipping of school buildings and facilities; and the payment of the principal and interest of any indebtedness which is incurred to pay for the same.
i. The manner in which state aid, available under the laws of either New Hampshire or Vermont, shall be allocated, unless otherwise expressly provided in this compact or by the laws making such aid available.
j. The method by which the articles of agreement may be amended, which amendments may include the annexation of territory, or an increase or decrease in the number of grades for which the interstate district shall be responsible, provided that no amendment shall be effective until approved by both state boards in the same manner as required for approval of the original articles of agreement.
k. The date of operating responsibility of the proposed interstate school district and a proposed program for the assumption of operating responsibility for education by the proposed interstate school district, and any school construction; which the interstate school district shall have the power to vary by vote as circumstances may require.
l. Any other matters, not incompatible with law, which the interstate school district planning committee may consider appropriate to include in the articles of agreement, including, without limitation:
(1) The method of allocating the cost of transportation between the interstate district and member districts;
(2) The nomination of individual school directors to serve until the first annual meeting of the interstate school district.
E. Hearings. If the planning committee recommends the formation of an interstate school district, it shall hold at least one public hearing on its report and the proposed articles of agreement within the proposed interstate school district in New Hampshire, and at least one public hearing thereon within the proposed interstate school district in Vermont. The planning committee shall give such notice thereof as it may determine to be reasonable, provided that such notice shall include at least one publication in a newspaper of general circulation within the proposed interstate school district not less than 15 days (not counting the date of publication and not counting the date of the hearing) before the date of the first hearing. Such hearings may be adjourned from time to time and from place to place. The planning committee may revise the proposed articles of agreement after the date of the hearings. It shall not be required to hold further hearings on the revised articles of agreement but may hold one or more further hearings after notice similar to that required for the first hearings if the planning committee in its sole discretion determines that the revisions are so substantial in nature as to require further presentation to the public before submission to the state boards of education.
F. Approval by State Boards. After the hearings a copy of the proposed articles of agreement, as revised, signed by a majority of the planning committee, shall be submitted by it to each state board. The state boards may (a) if they find that the articles of agreement are in accord with the standards set forth in this compact and in accordance with sound educational policy, approve the same as submitted, or (b) refer them back to the planning committee for further study. The planning committee may make additional revisions to the proposed articles of agreement to conform to the recommendations of the state boards. Further hearings on the proposed articles of agreement shall not be required unless ordered by the state boards in their discretion. In exercising such discretion, the state boards shall take into account whether or not the additional revisions are so substantial in nature as to require further presentation to the public. If both state boards find that the articles of agreement as further revised are in accord with the standards set forth in this compact and in accordance with sound educational policy, they shall approve the same. After approval by both state boards, each state board shall cause the articles of agreement to be submitted to the school boards of the several member districts in each state for acceptance by the member districts as provided in the following paragraph. At the same time, each state board shall designate the form of warrant, date, time, place, and period of voting for the special meeting of the member district to be held in accordance with the following paragraph.
G. Adoption by Member Districts. Upon receipt of written notice from the state board in its state of the approval of the articles of agreement by both state boards, the school board of each member district shall cause the articles of agreement to be filed with the member district clerk. Within ten days after receipt of such notice, the school board shall issue its warrant for a special meeting of the member district, the warrant to be in the form, and the meeting to be held at the time and place and in the manner prescribed by the state board. No approval of the superior court shall be required for such special school district meeting in New Hampshire. Voting shall be with the use of the check list by a ballot substantially in the following form:
“Shall the school district accept the provisions of the New Hampshire-Vermont Interstate School Compact providing for the establishment of an interstate school district, together with the school districts of ............... and ............... , etc., in accordance with the provisions of the proposed articles of agreement filed with the school district (town, city or incorporated school district) clerk?”
Yes ( ) No ( )
If the articles of agreement included the nomination of individual school directors, those nominated from each member district shall be included in the ballot and voted upon, such election to become effective upon the formation of an interstate school district.
If a majority of the voters present and voting in a member district vote in the affirmative, the clerk for such member district shall forthwith send to the state board in its state a certified copy of the warrant, certificate of posting, and minutes of the meeting of the district. If the state boards of both states find that a majority of the voters present and voting in each member district have voted in favor of the establishment of the interstate school district, they shall issue a joint certificate to that effect; and such certificate shall be conclusive evidence of the lawful organization and formation of the interstate school district as of its date of issuance.
H. Resubmission. If the proposed articles of agreement are adopted by one or more of the member districts but rejected by one or more of the member districts, the state boards may resubmit them, in the same form as previously submitted, to the rejecting member districts, in which case the school boards thereof shall resubmit them to the voters in accordance with paragraph G of this article. An affirmative vote in accordance therewith shall have the same effect as though the articles of agreement had been adopted in the first instance. In the alternative, the state boards may either (a) discharge the planning committee, or (b) refer the articles of agreement back for further consideration to the same or a reconstituted planning committee, which shall have all of the powers and duties as the planning committee as originally constituted. (Added 1967, No. 243 (Adj. Sess.).)