Vermont is talking education system reforms, and perhaps the most controversial piece of the current House bill would prod school districts into consolidation.
We saw an interesting vote Wednesday as some lawmakers wanted to keep merger studies voluntary — essentially allowing districts to move at their own pace — rather than the stricter requirements in the bill. The effort failed, 80-62, after some healthy discussion.
I was curious to see if the lawmakers who supported this amendment came from areas with small student populations, so I used the roll call vote results as an excuse for some much-needed MapBox, TileMill and QGIS practice.
Here’s a map showing how representatives voted. The darkest House districts had all of their representatives (one or two representatives per district) wanting to keep consolidation voluntary.
Click the images for the interactive MapBox versions:
(I’m not sure why the Lake Champlain islands dropped off the map… An omission in the shapefiles.)
Here’s another map showing the student population (note: not the same as school district size) in each town. This isn’t the ideal comparison — I want to make another map showing school districts more specifically — but it was an easy project and it does give you a sense for where the students are. Darker towns have fewer students.