Monday, January 9, 2017

Preaching To The Converted



From single Wildwood to co-located $67 million Mega School

Since the Amherst Select Board unanimously approved placing the $67 million Mega School Override question on the November 8th ballot as well as the Fall Town Meeting warrant a week later, where it failed to garner a majority vote, it's a forgone conclusion they will again unanimously recommend to the January 30th Town Meeting a yes vote. 

So I find it amusing that school supporters will pack the Select Board meeting tonight to ensure they give it another unanimous thumbs up recommendation.

Not so amusing is the clear violation of state ethics law regarding conflict of interest where an Amherst School employee, on company time, using a company computer, and internal listserve sent out a rally cry for the demonstration at tonight's Select Board meeting.


Click to enlarge/read

Steps of Amherst Town Hall 6:20 PM

Over 20 years ago the State Ethics Division found Town Manager Barry Del Castilho in violation because he used a town typewriter and four sheets of paper to write a column for the Amherst Bulletin supporting a $4 million Override to renovate Town Hall (which twice failed with voters).

83 comments:

Anonymous said...

I really do hope our elected Town Meeting members can see beyond this nonsense and vote 'NO." They are obligated to represent their constituents who have voted "NO." The Town Meeting members do not represent the "Squeaky Wheels" who always try to rally support by any means possible. even things that are not legal! If you are a Town Meeting member, please do the right thing and vote NO on this one.

Anonymous said...


Yes, many teachers at Fort River and Wildwood are being ‘strongly encouraged’ by school and town administrators to sign pro mega-school petitions and show up for rallies supporting this $67 million boondoggle of a project.

When your boss repeatedly approaches you in the workplace, asking your support of a controversial school building project, you best sign on the dotted line if you want to keep your job and positive performance reviews.

Shame on Mike Morris and school administrators for resorting to such illegal tactics in this desperate play to get the mega-school through no matter the cost ethically or fiscally.

Also speaks volumes about lack of popularity for the mega-school plan that they have to use these kinds of shenanigans to sell this thing.

Anonymous said...

So do we continue to re vote issues that fail until they pass, just saying. I for one will not support any significant issue until the town addresses reducing taxes on seniors living on fixed incomes. It's a shame people can't move on and look for alternatives. I would not be surprised if the school is built that in a few years it's found to have been a mistake, then watch the excuses fly.

Anonymous said...

Obligated - very funny. TM does whatever it wants.

I also wish TM would represent the town wide vote which had 7 of 10 precincts passing.

Larry, I appreciate you omitting the teachers name. I am sure they weren't thinking about the potential violation when sending.

Anonymous said...

And these are the exact reasons why public employees cannot use public resources to influence votes. How free does someone feel to express their views when the people in charge of their hiring and firing want them to vote a certain way? And how appropriate is it for public employees to engage in political activities during the time they are being paid to teach our children? Any teacher who signed this petition during school hours has violated state law. What a lesson for their students.

Anonymous said...

I will be voting YES in Town Meeting on January 30. My obligation is to vote for what's best for the entire Town. I am not obligated to be some sort of conduit and channel some imagined sense of my own precinct. If you think otherwise, please put me out of my misery, vote me out, and give me back several beautiful spring evenings. I'm in there out of a sense of obligation, to witness the good, the bad, and the ugly, same as Mr. Kelley.

But we would all be better off with a less politically active School Department.

Rich Morse

Anonymous said...

The select board could defuse the situation (circus) easily by modifying the agenda to have the first item a resolution to reaffirm their recommendation on the override vote from the first meeting. They could decide that the resolution needs no discussion, vote immediately, and that's it. Then, move all the citizen comments to the end of the meeting.

Anonymous said...

I support the new schools but my town meeting reps don't care what i think. They vote according to what they think. They are voting no. Even after I asked them to vote yes. Town Meeting is not a representative body. Time for it to be put out of its misery.

Anonymous said...

I work in both buildings and these are teacher generated petitions. The building administrators have had nothing to do with this.....you must not work in the schools but are only conjecturing. Nice try though; your idea of how this is occurring is not true.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, but this strident email from School administers directing public school teachers to support and rally for a controversial town political issue (building mega-school, destroying three other schools) is not ‘conjecture’, but was done using public employees and public resources. Nice try though.

Anonymous said...

If they vote no, this is the end of town meeting.

Larry Kelley said...

Let's hope.

Anonymous said...

I don't like town meeting either, but i am disappointed in the select board for rubber stamping a costly, bad unpopular project.

Anonymous said...

Town meeting members only vote their position in most cases. In the 17 years I have been in Amherst not once did a TM candidate ever solicit my opinion. I have never had a candidate ask me to vote for them or leave anything in my mail box as to why I should vote for them. Given that I doubt any of them give a crap what their neighbors think.

Time to go town meeting.

Anonymous said...

6Gee...rich Morse and anon 3:49 don't seem to understand representative government.....

Anonymous said...

Evidence much? From school administrators? Based on what? Again, nice try. Back up what you are saying or stop spreading fake news.

Anonymous said...


Is this really the best pro-new school people can do? Sending 'official' emails from the school administration to the captive audience of public school employees, compelling/begging/cajoling them to sign petitions and create phony rallies and poster signs? Do they not have any local support for this issue?

Teachers know the Amherst school administration demand loyalty above all. It’s a play to pay system apparently.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for helping to keep this on the up & up Larry - When a family member served on Leverett's select board as chair-we had Soooooooooo many issues with the teachers union very open and blatant violations of ethics conflict of interest laws- non the least of these was Kippy Fonshes serving as both active teacher at ARHS-teachers union boss-and both Leverett and regional Amherst school board member-for decades.Serving as his own teachers boss violates the law-and leaves in-ethical conflicts with approval of his own Salerno-teacher dispensations-aks Ms Gardner-Maria Geryk legal settlements-for example-and teacher performance evaluations-thus illegally performed by the unions own boss-Kippy Fonsh .Massachusetts law states all active teachers must not serve on the school board.These anti-democratic forces rob our community of legal-ethical school performance oversight and competent-un-corrupted teacher evaluations.Say no go !!!!?????@&$$$$$

Anonymous said...

I teach in the schools and don't find this to be true, at all. Love to hear from someone who actually works on the schools and thinks differently.

kevin said...

Great picture of a $1.25 million dollar roof, plus there's the $400,000 furnace. That is $1.65 million out of local services next year. You know, Police and Fire services. Next year. And then another million for a new feasibility study, and throw the one we just paid for in the toilet. So that is... thinking... almost $4 million out of local services and we still don't have the schools.

Because this is a two-fer. Two fer the price of one.

Nina Koch said...

To 6:40 pm--

You have come on Larry's blog several times stating that Kip Fonsh served on the School Committee at the same time that he was working as a teacher. What's your source of information for that statement? When did Kip retire from teaching? When did he come onto the School Committee? Do you even know those dates?

You're mistaken. You're making false statements.

Anonymous said...

Wishful thinking school union booster-Heh-Nice try-bet you just eat up Kippy Fonshes August letter to the Gazette exonerating Maria Geryk-etc..sick-sad world !!! I have been involved with this stuff for four decades-intimately !!Hmmmm

Anonymous said...

Interesting, yes, it's very likely an ethics violation. From the mass.gov site, it reads:

"This Advisory explains the restrictions placed by the conflict of interest law on public employee political activity. This Advisory addresses " election-related political activity," which is activity directed at influencing people to vote for or against candidates and/or ballot initiatives. This Advisory also addresses " non-election-related political activity," which is activity directed at influencing governmental decision-makers which does not involve an election. Non-election-related political activities include, for example, supporting or opposing: town meeting warrant articles, municipal bylaw changes, user fees for public services or school activities, changes to funding for public services, the renovation or construction of public buildings, roads, bridges, and other public infrastructure, closure of public libraries, schools or fire stations, and changes to state and local tax rates, laws, regulations, and budgets."

For those of you who love digging around on government sites, it's:

http://www.mass.gov/ethics/education-and-training-resources/educational-materials/advisories/advisory-11-1.html

Here's the actual example the website uses:

"Example: A non-policymaking public school teacher may not , during her school work hours, prepare, produce and distribute to municipal officials and residents a flier in support of a new public school, or hold a sign in front of the school supporting the construction of a new school, or attend meetings of a grass roots group supporting the construction of a new school. She also may not use her school email or computer to send out a mass message supporting the construction of a new school, or use her school website to advocate for the construction of a new school."

You can't tell from the email if it is directly from administration since the name has been blocked out. That said, if I were an administrator, I'd send out a strong reminder tomorrow that this is unethical. The point is not, of course, that some teachers shouldn't rally around an issue they care about, but this feels wrong and certainly has bad optics for those who support the warrant article.

Anonymous said...

Nina-Would be more conning -if she stuck to reality-facts-and the truth . When such ex-teachers are behaving Sooooooo circumspect for the take-no-prisoners unions cause..you just gotta take everything with a grain of salt...kinda makes you wonder-what's up-DESPERADO'S. $&@!?!!!$$$$$@

Anonymous said...

I am disappointed that some teachers in support of the new school are going room to room in the current schools to lobbying other teachers/school staff to sign and say they support the new school. Talk about pressuring others to get the outcome you want. Not good. Why is the school administration not reminding its employees of the law on this, and clamping down on such activity? If a teacher was lobbying others against the new school during school hours on school property, I am sure the administration wouldn't just be sitting back and letting that happen.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of bad optics, it appears that the point of the teacher petition is "to validate misinformation." What??

Anonymous said...

A while ago, someone commented that the current preschool is under enrolled - is this still the case? What projections suggest that more spaces are needed in the proposed pre-k- 1 school?

Anonymous said...

Here's the crux:

147 teachers have come out publicly in support the new schools.
How many have come out publicly to oppose? What's their alternate plan?

The majority of voters agreed to fund this project.

This project will provide our teachers and students a healthy building to teach and learn in. And compared to other options - is far more cost-effective.

Town meeting should vote yes, on the merits and the politics.

Anonymous said...

One simple test to see how folks really feel about any local tax issue is to charge folks in districts that vote yes just $100 more per year than those in districts voting no. Then you would see mostly no votes in a democracy or even a republic....just $100 would get some real thought....there would be a small cost to you requiring your neighbors to pay and it would change everything...think about it. It would likely work at $1.

Now if each parent put in $100 by choice and we let 10% off the hook due to being poor...that would be about 2500 students or so x $100 = $250,000...over 10 students worth of funding. Such a modest gesture would likely garner much support and pass the measure....but I bet not even 10 parents who would vote to raise their neighbors' taxes by much more would make even this petty gesture of paying for 1/2% of the cost of your kid that year.

Want this to pass, donate towards it and publicize it, you will be amazed. Show that you are willing to put your money where your mouth is and where you expect others to sacrifice for your family.

But my sense is that no $100s would change hands, which show how important this really is to most people.

I will pledge $100 as a non parent if just 10 parents do the same. My sense is that $100 a few times over in either direction would swing this vote.

Larry Kelley said...

The Town Meeting vote that rejected the plan mirrored almost exactly the town wide vote as a percent.

It will not get two thirds support on January 30th.

Anonymous said...

If town meeting votes yes, will you eat a bug?
(http://ew.com/article/2016/11/12/princeton-poll-expert-eats-bug-cnn/)

Anonymous said...

The fact that most teachers and staff support this can be pretty telling.

I assume they all recognize there are NOT two school budgets, one for pay and one for buildings, there is only one and it competes with Firemen, Police, family food budgets and more.

And still, the teachers are willing to utilize more of this budget for buildings, knowing that basic math says this is going to put a damper on future pay as the budget is stretched...or make another big fight for raises. All this knowing that the economy is still in the slumps and families are likely to have tighter budgets moving forward (which makes them more likely to vote no in the future). Amherst is strongly liberal and most liberals have predicted absolute chaos as a result of our election of Trump. There are also issues with higher ed funding and overall justification for students going or being able to pay back, which means less money could be flowing all around town in the near future due to less UMASS and other college activity or those institutions doing more to keep students on campus or use their budgets for tuition.

If the teachers are willing to sacrifice pay to make this happen, especially given all the negatives that they may face as a result personally and in their families, all this may be more needed than most realize. Please consider this. Teachers and staff are willing to make big potential sacrifices in the next decade to have this new building, maybe you should too.

Anonymous said...

Wait - how many people work in Amherst's 3 elementary schools? Is it about 300 total? What percentage of 300 is 147 - about 50%? So even with the pressure on staff to sign their petition, they still could only muster about 50% support among school employees. That's hardly a resounding endorsement for this plan. What was the percentage of Crocker Farm staff that signed?

If we can submit new SOIs this Spring, and Dr Morris has confirmed that we can, we have a 60% chance of being accepted back into the MSBA pipeline THIS YEAR (see article in last Friday's Bulletin for analysis of the MSBA data). If the town comes together and decides consolidating into 2 schools is the preferred way forward, we could have a plan for a PreK-6 school at the Wildwood site (or at Fort River since the new flood plain map shows a much larger buildable area than before) within 1-2 years and have this thing built and open for kids in 2022 or 2023. We could explore putting an addition onto Crocker Farm to have two equally sized PreK-6 schools (about 550).

Alternatively, we can build a new FR (or renovate) and wait a couple of years to build a new WW (or renovate). As a parent of two children in WW, I am willing to wait to get this right.

Let's get to work.

Anonymous said...

according to DOE (http://profiles.doe.mass.edu/profiles/student.aspx?orgcode=00080009&orgtypecode=6&&fycode=2016) preK has never been above 65 students. last year 64 students. At one point their were 85 seats available but I think that was reduced to 70 because a classroom was needed for k-6 classrooms (and they had it to spare given the low enrollment to capacity). A question to which answers are hard to find: how many of those 64 kids are from Amherst? Apparently, Pelham is included in the catchment (no idea why, their elementary school is entirely separate from Amherst). It is possible there are other kids also attending who are not from Amherst. Would love for the SC to care about issues like this...

So the carrot of 'adding more preK seats' with the building project is stupid. We don't need more seats and if the SC and admin cared about preK they would instead be talking about expanding the hours. Don't be fooled

Dr. Ed said...

"147 teachers have come out publicly in support the new schools."

147 PUBLIC EMPLOYEES who should have been professional enough to remain neutral.

How many have come out publicly to oppose? What's their alternate plan?

Perhaps being professional enough to keep their mouths shut?

The majority of voters agreed to fund this project.

A super-majority is needed as a safeguard, and hopefully that will be retained in some fashion should TM be abolished.

This project will provide our teachers and students a healthy building to teach and learn in. And compared to other options - is far more cost-effective.

REALLY? How are you planning to get all the children in & out of this monstrosity? Drones?

Town meeting should vote yes, on the merits and the politics.

That sentence is a gem, showing (a) just how stupid many teachers are and (b) the extent to which they live in an echo chamber. The irony, of course, being that they can't see this.

Anonymous said...

If town meeting votes yes....everyone may need to eat more bugs to survive.

Ha.

Also, wont town meeting have more incentive than ever to vote with the public, isn't one of the next votes about them....

Nina Koch said...

To 6:40pm/8:33pm/11:19pm,

I see you haven't provided the dates I requested. So you don't know them. Even without information, you went ahead and made your accusations.

Kip retired from ARPS in the early 2000s, maybe 2003. By 2004, he was working at the Basketball Hall of Fame. He was not on the School Committee until much later-- I think around 2011. He was not on the committee when they selected Maria. Farshid was the Leverett rep at that time.

Well, now you have the information. So stop making the false statements. I don't care how many special characters (@#$%^&*) you put into your posts. You're still a liar.

Larry Kelley said...

Well if the Town Meeting vote on January 30th matches EXACTLY the vote the public made on November 8th, then the article once again fails.

Anonymous said...

Anon 1032
Your timeline is way off. First there is no way our SOI will be accepted this year. 2nd once it is accepted we must begin the process all over again. The process we are in now began in 2013 and if it were to pass town meeting the new schools would open in 2020. If and this is a big if our SOI was accepted in 2018 the new schools would not open until 2025. However historically no town has ever had a SOI submitted for the same grade level after a no vote accepted sooner than five years later. That gets us to the new school opening in 2029. Are you willing to wait that long?

Anonymous said...

"If the teachers are willing to sacrifice pay to make this happen,"

THEY AREN'T!

What people in the private sector need to understand is that there are two types of pay raises -- step and overall, and that only the latter is publicly discussed.

Each year, every teacher gets a step increase because teacher pay is based on the number of years you have been teaching. Any percentage increase is then applied to all the steps, with the individual teacher starting the next year with a double raise -- the higher step which now pays slightly more as well.

It's the steps which are the real increases, and teachers will continue to get them even if there is "a damper on future pay increases" as steps are mandated, teachers will STILL get pay raises!

"... especially given all the negatives that they may face as a result personally and in their families..."

WHAT negatives? Teachers largely live in an insular culture of teachers, not the real world. (Professors are even worse.)

"...all this may be more needed than most realize."

IF it was, maybe they'd be willing to offer a real sacrifice, like elimination of all step increases for the next 40 years. (Research shows no positive relationship between years teaching and teacher effectiveness, it actually shows a decline.)

"Please consider this.:

Yes, please do.

" Teachers and staff are willing to make [slight] potential sacrifices in the next decade to have this new building,"

Ummm, aren't we taking THREE decades?
And the only "sacrifice" is the potential of not getting as big a percentage raise as they'd like (on top of their step increases) in their next contract. After which point, the taxpayers will be expected to pay MORE, MORE, MORE...

"...maybe you should too."

Maybe we already are.

Over the last 25 years, total K-12 spending (even adjusted for inflation) has more than doubled. Amherst now spends way in excess of $20K per student, HOW MUCH MORE DO YOU EXPECT US TO PAY?!?!?

If the school is so desperately needed, bring the per-child cost down to $15K and pay for it out of that.

Dr. Ed said...

Larry, the scary thing is that the email was written by an actual teacher.

Anonymous said...

Anon 12.18, Carver MA filed a new SOI in 2013 and had it accepted in the same year. They received the MSBA grant in 2015, 2 years after the SOI was submitted. Hopkinton MA filed their new SOI in 2012, were accepted in 2013 and had their grant approved in 2015.
Can you please cite references to the data you are providing if you dispute this?
Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Larry, you contacting the state ethics commission for comment?

Larry Kelley said...

Nah, not even going to waste my time.

I contacted them back in September when Select Board member Dough Slaughter voted to place the Mega School on the November 8 ballot without disclosing his clear conflict of interest being employed by the Schools.

Never heard back from them.

Although I notice Mr. Slaughter has been very careful ever since to make a public announcement before he votes on the Mega School (last night for instance).

Anonymous said...

Carver is a special case. The town voted down funding for a new school 3 times. MSBA finally told the town they could not submit a new SOI without first passing a non binding resolution approving the financing. That was in 2013. Since the town passed the resolution as that pre condition the SOI submitted was approved by MSBA. Clearly this was an unusual situation and not the norm. Although at the rate we're going i could see that happening here. Anyway in took the town a decade to get the SOI accepted and referendum passed I don't know where they are in the process now.

Anonymous said...

Hopkinton - this is a case where SOI was accepted in 3 years instead of usual 5 years. Interestingly the town there was fighting to keep their k-1 and 2-5 configuration. Their School Building committee wanted to go back to k-5 and so that proposal was voted diwn in 2011. In 2013 they were invited to resubmit a SOI to MSBA and were invited into new process in 2014. They will retain their k-1 and 2-5 configuration.

Anonymous said...

It is understandable that few ARPS teachers and staff would be publicly be speaking out against a project that the district is pushing for, so hard, & that teachers are cajoling & pressuring their colleagues to support.

Anonymous said...

It's NOT a mega school!

Anonymous said...


Sorry, but 750 grammar school students, plus staff, in a single building on an undersized plot with limited/poor outside play areas and a single vehicle entrance and exit road is a Mega school.

If passed it will also be the most expensive public elementary school in the history Massachusetts.

Foul all around. Students and residents will lose big time if the Mega school plan passes. Town meeting, select board we’re looking at you, the school committee has drunk Ms. Appy’s poisoned cool aid long ago.


Anonymous said...

Newton's new high school costs way way more than this proposed school. When you make unreferenced statements they are easily shot down.

Anonymous said...

We all tend to "want" stuff. But, at our homes, we try to buy what we can afford and we look for value in our purchases. It appears that many Amherst people certainly seem to "want" more than most others (especially if they can get someone else to pay for it!) Remember that phrase, "It's always easier to spend someone else's money?"

Well, I hope Town Meeting members realize what this decision about all this spending really means to the taxpayers and the fiscal health of the town. This proposal is a "white elephant." IT IS NOT GOOD FOR KIDS. If voted in, we will come to really resent it and the town will find they are stuck with something they really dislike. (Just like Wildwood and Fort River Schools.)

So many teachers that are crying out for this, are NOT Amherst taxpayers. The e-mail sent to them was deplorable but it is not the first or only time school computers and school time have been used to further political agenda. How about school materials? Were any of those used for these signs? Do you really think they dare say, "No," to this kind of pressure?

All so very sad and disappointing. I thought we were better than all of this.

Anonymous said...

anon@5:29: the poster claimed *elementary* school and I think their statement is accurate. nah nah nah. Look it up

Anonymous said...

Anon 548. It is your opinion that this plan is not good for kids. It is the opinion of many that it is good for kids.

Anonymous said...

Just say no town meeting, don't be intimidated

Anonymous said...

Dr. Ed, I appreciate you giving a detailed response to my sataristic post. Sorry to not be more obvious.

Anonymous said...

Nina -I went to the meeting that Kip Fonsh was first elected to the school board and helped rally to brooch the topic of conflict of interest law violations with the town GOP- my family member was chair of the Leverett select board for most a decade-worked in politics many decades-and I have known the Fonshes-personally since c 1973-a neighbor-I also attended many select board meeeyings-all unanimously opposed his illegal dual loyalties-I happen to believe the community is owed honest-in-compromised teacher evaluations-dispensation resolutions-because that is what's truly "For the kids" Eat crow-Nina...get real !!!!

Anonymous said...

"If passed it will also be the most expensive public elementary school in the history Massachusetts."

Wrong

Anonymous said...

really anon@6:54? Please post the cost (and name) of a public MA ELEMENTARY school built that is more than $65 million dollars. good luck

Anonymous said...

Gross numbers aren't helpful but per pupil or square foot are. To replace two schools costs a lot of money; look at any of the building projects around the state and an elementary schools costs around 30 million. Double that and you have our project cost. Wait ten years and add 10s of millions to the price tag on top of the wasted money we will dump into the schools during that time staring with a 1.4 million for a roof and .4 mil for a boiler.

Anonymous said...

7:40 -- it still makes it the most expensive ELEMENTARY school the Commonwealth has ever seen -- and that's without the unicorn petting zoo....

Anonymous said...

I would like to know how many teachers who signed support of the new school actually live in Amherst and pay Amherst taxes? Many teachers don't live in the same town they teach in. I will say to anon@6:54 that I was on a preview committee regarding the combination of the new school as well as the combining of the middle and high school and the numbers were clear that the building project would be the most expensive public elementary school, but also the combined high school would be the largest as well. Really looking at line budget items and how much they cost is important to note, such as where are the playgrounds? They were not "included" int he cost scheme, time, extended bus runs and increased traffic in the Wildwood neighborhood might not actually be "wanted", and grade configuration for an early education center that is not mandated by the state yet the operating cost would be the burden of Amherst tax payers isn't considered. That being said, the real estate in this town is pricing young families out of town and yet we bring in school choice because our enrollment is down and is a growing trend. A "shiny" new school gives the illusion that noting is wrong with the picture. When we looked at the feasibility of combining the middle/high school the scheduling and cost to make that happen was too much of a nightmare. Building a new school seems like something that would attract people to move here, however taxing fixed income and young families to the degree that occurred over time is simply too much and we see this trend of people moving OUT of the area because the taxes are simply too high.

Dr. Ed said...

Nah, not even going to waste my time.

Larry, I said "request for comment", which as a journalist, you ought to do.

This is almost a verbatim example of their "thou shalt not" example, and if they don't have the guts to stand behind this, they need to be called for being the bunch of useless pansys they are.

Anonymous said...

It's not one elementary school Anon 816. It's two schools that will be built for 65 mil.

Anonymous said...

anon 853 -- two schools, one school, whatever. the per student and per square foot costs are still among the most expensive in the state.

Anonymous said...

anon 853 -- two schools, one school, whatever. the per student and per square foot costs are still among the most expensive in the state.

Anonymous said...

'Well if the Town Meeting vote on January 30th matches EXACTLY the vote the public made on November 8th, then the article once again fails.'

Or, if TM members voted with their precincts it would pass. 7 of 10 precincts approved...Fun to play with numbers.

No matter what happens, this question shines the light on TM.

Larry Kelley said...

Nobody wants Town Meeting to die more than I.

But this particular issue is not decisive one way or the other.

Anonymous said...

It's not one elementary school Anon 816. It's two schools that will be built for 65 mil.

Two schools, three unicorn parks, whatever.

It is ONE building used to educate elementary students. We used to call that a "school."

Fat, dumb, stupid said...

The kind of mayor this dump needs



badly.




https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PYhGE5axf2Q



-Squeaky Squeaks


p.s.

Drain the TM and insider cesspool


~dry~ ...

Nina Koch said...

To 6:53 pm,

If you are talking about the Leverett School Committee, that's part of Union 28. Not ARPS. No conflict there. And if people were so concerned about a conflict, did they file a complaint with the state? Was it adjudicated? You are just making accusations without any facts. You are full of it.

I don't know when Kip joined the Leverett School Committee, but his membership on the Regional Committee was long after he retired. No conflict. I don't support everything he did and said while serving on the committee, but I object to your baseless attacks on him.

You say Kip is your neighbor? You've known him for years? And this is the way you talk about him? Making false statements? Very neighborly.

Anonymous said...

Nina-Wishfull thinking has got the best of you-I had many families in the teachers union-they resisted the pull to be suckoured by union shot-prop-I would suggest if you are " Fot the kids" you try independent thinking for a change.The corruption of teachers being they're own boss is obviously a lure too great for you-that's Pre in-ethical greed-students can only thrive when we have honest quality control-something you clearly reject.Our bad-how does teachers judging own malfaence and financial dispensations- disiin have one iota of honesty-in reality-this is what's got the unionist panties in a twist-I know my stuff-nice try-but grossly biased !!!?@&$$$

Anonymous said...

In planning a school for children of all abilities- one must glance to their futures.

A good solid background in reading (for those able to learn) and opportunities to be physically active (for all) will set the stage for their lives.

With a grade configuration the interrupts children as they grasp reading and a school design that lacks areas for outdoor play and exercise- this is the wrong school plan for our children.

Anonymous said...

Anon 552
What an absurd argument. Read the column in the Amherst Bulletin today by an early childhood educator who teaches in South Hadley.

Anonymous said...

Anon 341
I think you need to attend school. Your post was unintelligible.

Anonymous said...

Apple Word Perfect mangled my best intentions on my IPhone texter -my apologies-Apples bad !?!!!!@&$$

Anonymous said...

Do people realize that not all the preschoolers in Amherst will go to Crocker Farm's early childhood center--just some kids. Most children will go to other preschools then go to Crocker for Kindergarten and 1st grade, then change schools again.

Dr. Ed said...

Nina, your argument is asinine. If you are an employee of the high school your town sends students too, you ought not be on your town's school committee.

Anonymous said...

The Town Meeting vote is to authorize a bond issue; the override (and the school) already passed. That is the law. Bummer, huh.

Anonymous said...

Thank you-at least we CAN see the teachers union has no clothes-after Ms Gardner-after Maria Geryk-after Hiza-after the Kippy Fonsh conflict of interest debacle-and now an absurdity-a " Mega-Skool" to which the only confidence we can have is they will soon urban renew raze it-we pay-they play -and expect us to blindly tow the union line-hook & sinker-like Nina obviously thinks we just buy it all-no regrets-Come again??!! Why lie-Nina?!! Oh- most forgot-this silliness is " For the kids" ??!! Like grandma being taxed out to the cold hard curb of a " home" is a " joke"- funny Thing- not laughing ?!!!&@$$$

Anonymous said...

What do you mean, the school has already passed?

Anonymous said...

TM has to authorize borrowing $$$ (by 2/3rds).

kevin said...

140 teachers handed in their resignation on Friday, Larry, congratulations on your success. They were extraordinarily brave. Nothing like Town Meeting, with it's closed private Yahoogroup, behind the backs of the voters. A small, self-elected group that has final say in all matters, discussing how to overturn a fair & legal election, all behind closed doors.

And didn't we fight a war over that? In which millions of Americans died? For what? And now it's okay for Amherst Town Meeting to do it? To dictate educational policy, overriding our elected School Committee, the people we elected to make educational policy? What do you call people who do that, who dictate policy, overriding our elected representatives? Threatening those who speak out with jail.

You present as some sort of military hero, Semper Fi and all that. What did they die for? Those teachers were braver than any of us, risking their jobs for our kids. What did you ever do? Did you ever put your job on the line for anything?

Anonymous said...

Yes, the school has already passed. On Nov 8, the voters of Amherst approved an override. Now, under state law, it is Town Meeting's job to authorize the spending. The override (and the school) was passed by the voters. Town Meeting does not approve schools, does not make educational policy. Town Meeting can only authorize spending, for the override which passed. On Nov 8. The schools was passed, by the voters, on Nov. 8th. In an election. Known as "the November 8th election", at which the voters passed the override (and the school). It is only a technicality that the ballot question and town meeting article have the same wording. They are for entirely different things. Town Meeting does not 'pass' schools. The voters did that. On November 8th. In the election. Town Meeting must authorize the spending, for the override which the voters passed. Under state law.