Thursday, February 25, 2016

Regional School Expansion Delayed Again

Regional School Committee, 9 members from 4 towns (5 of them Amherst)

The four year slog to expanding the four town regional public school education system from grades 7-12 all the way down to pre-K-6 will just have to wait another year, as the Regional School Committee voted this evening to suspend discussion of the matter until January, 2017.

Katherine Appy, Amherst School Committee Chair and major cheerleader for expanded Regionalization, said Amherst simply has too much going on with a proposed new mega school and consolidation of the Middle School students into the High School.

The vote was 7-2 in favor of the delay with Vira Douangmany Cage and Stephen Sullivan voting no.

Mr. Sullivan, a Shutesbury representative, said this delay was unfair to three other towns who are members of Union 28 -- Wendell, Erving and New Salem -- aligned with Leverett and Shutesbury at grades K-6.  This delay leaves them in limbo for another year.

Furthermore, Sullivan announced Shutesbury public officials (Select Board, Finance and School Committees) will recommend their Town Meeting vote "No" on both questions concerning Regionalization.

The first question asks if voters will approve the Regional Agreement be amended to allow for the expansion of the Region, and the second question asks if you wish your town to join.  All four towns must vote "Yes" to the first question or the entire endeavor fails.

So tonight's School Committee vote to delay is really only a stay of execution.


Anonymous said...

It's actually not a mega school. It is two small schools co - located in the same building. Each of the two co - located schools will be smaller than any of the current elementary schools.

Larry Kelley said...

Well it started out as a single small school renovation/replacement.

Anonymous said...

Erving, not "Irving".

Larry Kelley said...

Thanks. Hot copy.

And my third meeting of the day.

Anonymous said...

St. Mikes had a grammar/junior high school on one side and a high school on the other, remember larry.

Anonymous said...

The discussions on regionalization have dragged on for far too long. Without Shutesbury's support, the whole thing is dead. For why did the Regional School Committee just delay the vote again? Is something significant going to change in the next year?

& in my opinion the planned elementary school consolidation (& proposed 7-12 consolidation) make it less likely, not more, that the towns in the region will vote to change the current regional agreement.

Anonymous said...

I don't think it ever started out that way.

Anonymous said...

It's so naïve to think that eventually this won't be a "mega" school. Eventually the "multi school" within the same building will die away as they see budgetary benefits from having simply one school.

The co-located school propaganda is simply to make it easier for us parents to adjust. When we see "mega" its scary for our kids. I immediately think "Florida"! They have truly mega schools, which our system won't even approach.

Anonymous said...

Always something.