Region 12: June vote is legal
Last week Bridgewater and Roxbury officials said before any referendum on a consolidated elementary school occurs, the educational plan that formed the three-town Region 12, which includes Washington, needs to be amended.
Ms. Allan said the board's attorney has opined that there was never a binding promise to retain schools in each of the three towns.
The Region 12 Board of Education has called for a June referendum on a consolidated elementary school to be built in Roxbury.
Roxbury and Bridgewater officials argue a change from elementary schools in each town to a consolidated regional elementary school is "such a material, substantial, profound and fundamental change to the original approved educational plan" that the 40-year-old plan must be amended before any other funds are expended on the concept of consolidation.
The two towns have said they will refuse to notice a referendum on a consolidated elementary school unless the majority of voters in each town approve an amendment to the educational plan that replaces town elementary schools with a consolidated elementary school.
Ms. Allan said the 12 member school board voted on Tuesday, with Ed Wainwright of Bridgewater abstaining, to authorize its attorney, George Kelly, to contact attorneys for Roxbury and Bridgewater to try to come to some agreement.
She said if no agreement can be worked out, Mr. Kelly has been authorized to prepare and file a court motion for a declaratory judgment to determine which opinion is correct, and also seek an injunction to require Bridgewater and Roxbury to notice any June referendum.
"A regional system requires compromise for the good of students," Ms. Allan said. "The advantage of a single school vastly outweighs educationally and fiscally what can be done for children in a tiny school. We are going to continue on to bring this to a referendum in June."