The phrase, inside baseball is usually used in politics, where the inside-baseball business includes the sorts of things political strategists think about but which the public is not necessarily privy to or interested in. We think this is what our BOE members seem to think about the proposed changes to educational funding in Region 1. They think the details are too technical or uninteresting for most of us to appreciate and that we will stand by and let them do whatever they want.
Well maybe we will. However, if we do, we will be complicit in: endorsing the creeping regionalization of our local elementary schools by allowing the ABC Committee to employ the superintendent for all the local elementary schools without a favorable vote by each of those districts/towns; penalizing the smaller towns (Sharon, Cornwall and Falls Village) by forcing increased costs on them; and, most importantly, turning long-standing practices of the Region 1 Board over to the ABC Committee. History tells us that most of the German people were not ardent Nazis, but they stood by and did nothing, they were complicit. Will you be complicit in this power grab by Superintendent Chamberlain?
In December 2006, Regional School District #1 revised the 7000 Series Policies. When printed out it comes to 24 pages, but many of those pages have only 3 or 4 lines of copy so it is a pretty quick read. Even the most cursory reading makes it clear that the role of the ABC Committee is to “recommend” not to rule. In one of its most detailed sections (7321), it lists 33 policies and services that “shall be kept current by amendments”. It is hard to believe, but in the past 8 years, there has not been a single amendment to the 7000 Series Policies. Now Region 1 attorney, Gary Brochu, submits a Draft Agreement Governing Shared Services for Regional District 1 that turns governing and financing of Region 1 on its ear and there is an incredible rush to pass this with little or no public exposure or explanation.
Yes, there is an “informational” meeting set for Wednesday, January 21st at HVRHS at 7pm. Have you seen the agenda? The first thing you might notice is that it is time-limited – just 90 minutes to let citizens know how their children’s schools will be governed going forward. Then there is time (not specified) for a presentation by the Board’s attorney; where is the time for a presentation by opponents? Then you will see that they issued an Amended Agenda that instead of simply listing “Questions and Answers” has been amended to “Questions and Answers – Public, Board Members, and Committee Members”. WOW! Were they really planning to conduct an informational meeting for the public and not have questions from the public? Sure looks like it.
Where will you be on Wednesday, January 21st at 7pm? It is time to decide whether you will speak out – or be complicit.