LENOX -- School officials in Lenox believe Lee Superintendent Jason McCandless was expressing a personal opinion when he suggested that his town explore the formation of a regional school district, possibly with Lenox.
McCandless' remarks came at a budget hearing in Lee Wednesday night. Forming a regional school district would save taxpayers money and increase educational opportunities for children in both communities, he said.
McCandless also stressed that he was expressing a personal opinion because he is leaving Lee to become superintendent of the Pittsfield Public Schools in July.
Lenox Superintendent Edward W. Costa III believed that McCandless was expressing his own opinion, and that his comments would have no bearing on discussions of regionalization.
"The subject of school regionalization is a topic of school governance," Costa said, "and therefore a topic for the school committee first and foremost."
School Committee vice chairman David Berkel dismissed McCandless' comments.
"He can say what he wants," Berkel said. "We've already initiated a study committee, and it will take a year to gather information from the community.
"I have no idea whether the community would go along with his parting words," he added. "It's a wait-and-see game on what our committee decides would be a good focus for us and what the town thinks is best."
School Committee member Jo Anne Magee said the Lenox strategic study committee is
"There's a whole range of things to think about, including what we're doing well today, and maybe we should continue that model," Magee said. "But we have a lot to learn and a lot of people to engage for a discussion of what we want to do."
To contact Clarence Fanto:
or (413) 637-2551.
On Twitter: @BE_cfanto