Letter: North Berkshire must pursue school consolidation

To the editor:

The county's 13 public high schools have now completed their annual senior graduation rituals. Congratulations to all the graduates as they progress to the next stage in their life.

From figures reported in The Eagle, North Berkshire graduated 361 students from our five public high schools, down from 377 in 2016. We could get along very nicely with two high schools in North Berkshire. Each could annually turn out an average of 180 students. The charter school graduated 16 students down from 23 in 2016.

It's time to end this 13-year educational option. It has loyal supporters but is no longer affordable by the sending school districts, each of whom are facing tremendous pressure from the taxpayers supporting them and have had to reduce educational offerings to their students. Indeed, communities are at or close to their maximum real estate tax levy ceiling.

It's time to get serious about consolidating our school systems. The Berkshire County Education Task Force has been working on this task for about two years. It has a distinguished and dedicated countywide membership but it's time for our North County education and municipal leaders to begin serious talks toward consolidation, sooner rather than later.

Richard Jette,



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