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.