Education Op/Ed

Letter to the editor: SOS group won’t file lawsuit

First and foremost, we want to thank the ACSD board for a robust discussion at the Feb. 13 board meeting that ended in an affirmative vote to amend the district Articles of Agreement to include a district-wide vote on proposed school closures. While we maintain it is within the rights of the electorate to petition and vote on changes to our district articles, we are appreciative of the compromise at the board level. Viewing litigation as a solely divisive measure is missing the intent. We firmly believe one thing, supported by a legal opinion — at the same time some members of the board firmly believe another, supported by a legal opinion. Litigation is merely a measure that helps to resolve the question at hand and allows us to truly put the matter to rest. At the same time, out of respect for the resources it takes and the compromise that was reached, SOS will not pursue legal action regarding the standing petition. 

Several board members expressed frustration at the amount of time that has been spent on this issue. We couldn’t agree more. We did not wish to spend the copious amounts of time and energy that it has taken to get here, but we also feel adamant that it is a critical element that requires attention. 

Any discussion at the district level should, above all else, weigh the impact to students, staff, and community. A decision as big as closing a school should not be left to a board of 13 volunteers, a majority of whom are residents of one town in a district that serves seven towns. Involving the electorate will go a long way to ensure that the significant decisions of school closure are fully vetted, with a plan that is well supported by the ACSD community and includes detailed mitigation strategies to address the negative consequences of those decisions. 

It has been encouraging to see the increase in thoughtful debate and extensive discussion at the board level in recent years. As always, we are fully committed to moving forward as a district and addressing the incredible challenges we are facing. A healthy democracy strives to include and consider ideas and opinions that are starkly different.

Millard Cox, Michele Fay, Laurie Cox, Ruth Bernstein and Tanya Scuteri 

Save Our Schools Executive Board

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