Feels need to be wary of 'unwanted consequences'
Published 5:18 pm, Wednesday, April 16, 2014
To the Editor:
We will call it "The Law of Unwanted Consequences."
The "Promise" in 1967 when the residents of Bridgewater, Roxbury and Washington were asked to decide on regionalization was that each town would always have a schoolhouse.
The "Promise" has been challenged at least three times.
The region is being asked to approve an expenditure in excess of $50 million dollars, including interest at 3.25 percent, for the construction of a new elementary school and repair of the middle/high school to consolidate all education in Region 12 in Washington.
This does not account for cost overruns or interest increases. Each 1 percent increase would add $5 million to the overall cost.
Bridgewater and Roxbury primary schools are rated sixth and eighth of 810 in the state.
If the schools in Bridgewater and Roxbury are closed, the buildings would still have to be maintained by the towns at considerable costs and families in the child bearing/rearing age group would not move in.
Without young families, who would volunteer to serve on the emergency services? On boards and commissions?
Who would be the continuity and become church members?
Real estate values could tumble more than 10 percent.
The character of the towns and their spirits of volunteerism and participation in all aspects of town life would disappear.
Finally, Washington, with all of the schoolhouses, would end up paying 60 to 80 percent of construction and education costs.
I firmly believe there are several other organizational patterns for K-8 that could be implemented. Furthermore, I believe a superior K-8 program in Region 12 would draw families to us.
The wanted consequence of this would be an increase in the number of high school students.
Please vote "no/no" on April 29.
Past member of
Region 12 Board