The Regional School District Planning Board will host a public meeting on December 5 and one overriding concern of Amherst residents is fair representation. Or at least it should be.
By population Amherst makes up 88% of the current Regional School District (Amherst, Leverett, Pelham and Shutesbury) thus a School Committee of 100 members should have 88 of them calling Amherst home.
But alas it doesn't work that way as the current 9 member Regional School Committee is made up of five from Amherst two from Pelham and one each from Leverett and Shutesbury. Not even close to that great American concept of "proportional representation."
The current attempt to bring Kindergarden through 6th grade into the mix will be even more disproportional since Shutesbury will not be joining, thus pushing Amherst to over 90% of the proposed Region.
Amherst RSDPB reps: Katherine Appy, Alisa Brewer, Andy Steinberg (Chair)
The make up of the Regional School District Planning Board already hints at the problem with whatever "plan" they come up with, since the committee was founded with 12 members equally divided between the four towns.
One (Pelham) member last summer somewhat addressed the potential tail-wagging-the-dog scenario by saying it would "save Amherst from themselves," a thinly veiled (nasty) reference to Catherine Sanderson's tumultuous reign on the Amherst School Committee.
A time when progress was actually being made, but bitterly opposed every centimeter of the way.
The meeting December 5 is not getting nearly the public attention it deserves. Interestingly the RSDPB hired a PR firm to come up with a "marketing plan" back when they were attempting to fast track a completed plan to the voters by the November elections.
Regional School District Planning Board (RSDPB) Thursday, December 5, from 7-9 pm in the Town Room in Town Hall