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For real financial relief reorganize Berkshire school districts

IN his letter to the editor, Patrick Fennell writes: "RAAC [Regional Agreement Amendment Committee] is just a waste of time and will not solve the real issues with the BHRSD or countywide."

 To the Editor:

It is time to think outside of the box and stop the narrow-minded approach that all six school districts south of Pittsfield continue to follow. Only a narrow-minded idiot would think renovating Monument Mountain High School is the answer to the education and budget problems that especially hit the anchor towns in each school district. Sheffield, Lenox, Lee and Great Barrington, are really feeling the pain. New Marlborough just asked the SBRSD for financial relief. The state has done nothing to help and both Smitty Pignatelli and Ben Downing have avoided school issues like the plague and will continue to do so since it might hurt their political careers by actually taking a lead. There is no excuse for the Legislature in Boston to continue to keep choice money at $5,300 a student after 25 years, they certainly padded their pockets during that period of time.

We have a county problem with the schools and districts. South County needs to stop talking about school mascots and team names and actually fixing the problem long term. If our educators really felt strongly about good education there would be a ‘real’ vocational school in South County by now, like McCann Tech in North Adams and Taconic High School in Pittsfield hopes to become. By becoming one district a better education can be achieved and more students can benefit with more choices and opportunities. Not everyone is college bound and many students are being left behind, not every kid can spend six hours a day going from desk to desk, many need and want to a more hands-on approach, like McCann Tech offers.

Right now the districts are moving deck chairs around the Titanic, avoiding the real problems, like money, the shrinking population, and yes, education. One good well-equipped school district can meet those needs and with all towns can share in the expenses in a more equitable fashion.  It is time to really think about the kids and stop protecting turf

RAAC is just a waste of time and will not solve the real issues with the BHRSD or countywide.

Patrick Fennell

Great Barrington

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