Story by Howard Weiss-Tisman, data and mapping by Hilary Niles / Vermont Public Radio
Vermont’s student enrollment has declined steadily in recent years, leaving hundreds of small-town school districts serving fewer and fewer kids — some as few as 20. Meanwhile property taxes that fund education have steadily risen, along with the profile of education finance as a political lightning rod.
In 2015, the Vermont Legislature instituted a controversial program requiring school districts to consolidate, or else face stiff property tax penalties. Towns have three years to respond to Act 46, as it’s known.
Using CartoDB, I created a map to track the merger status of all districts. The map, embedded in stories published by Vermont Public Radio, is sync’d to data hosted on GitHub. This allows the most current data to be reflected in all online stories with the map embedded.
Read Howard Weiss-Tisman’s coverage of Act 46 and see the map online:
5 District Consolidation Plans Pass On Town Meeting Day