Letter: MGRSD expansion benefits towns, education, financing

Posted
To the editor:

Today, special town meetings will be held in Williamstown and Lanesborough to ask voters to approve a revised regional agreement to expand the Mount Greylock Regional School District to include Williamstown and Lanesborough elementary schools. The expansion of the region will allow the two member communities to continue to benefit from educational collaboration between the schools, while making the governance and administration more manageable and preserving local control. The local control provisions mean each town is responsible for the costs of their own elementary school, and require that neither elementary school can be closed without an approval vote from both member towns.

This proposal has been carefully developed and vetted over the last year, including presentations at at least 40 public meetings (including final public presentations Monday at Williamstown Elementary School, and last Thursday in Lanesborough). The revised regional agreement has been approved by all three school committees and the finance committees of both towns. The Williamstown Board of Selectmen was scheduled to vote on Monday and the Board of Selectmen in Lanesborough chose not to take a stance on the agreement so as to not unduly influence voter decisions.

There is perhaps nothing more important to the future of our communities and our society than the education of our children. In my three years of service on the Mount GreyIock School Committee, I have seen firsthand the challenges of our current administrative structure, and the benefits that we stand to realize from the proposed arrangement.

I urge residents to attend special town meetings Tuesday (today) at the elementary schools in Williamstown (at 7 p.m.) and Lanesborough (at 6 p.m.), and to vote to support better education, local control and fiscal responsibility. Efforts are underway to provide child care at the meetings.

The full agreement and all supporting documents can be found on the district website at http://www.wlschools.org/page.cfm?p=1052.

I write this letter as an individual and not on behalf of the Mount Greylock School Committee.

Wendy Penner,

Williamstown



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