There was incredible statewide opposition to the regionalization proposals. In early March, there was a lengthy public hearing. Hundreds spoke, and more than one-thousand written testimonies were submitted (I was not able to attend but provided written testimony). Additionally, state legislators were overwhelmed with communications from their constituents. I have been in contact with Representative Vail and Senator Kissel, and both are in opposition to the regionalization proposals.
It seems the legislature and the governor heard their constituents and revised their proposals. The regionalization bills introduced by various Senators are now either dead (because they missed the March 15 draft deadline) or have been modified to mirror the Governor's revised proposal.
The Governor’s revised proposal abandons regionalization in favor of studying shared resources and collaboration opportunities. It proposes establishing a commission to make recommendations.
I believe this is very positive for Somers (and all small school districts). It is an approach that is responsible and respectful to students, parents, and the school systems.
I am pleased with the revisions but still have some concerns. There is a provision that calls for “incentives” to enter into collaborative relationships. I will closely monitor how they define incentives. Shared resources and collaborations can be beneficial, but we will continue to make decisions that are in the best interests of our children in Somers.
I want to thank everybody who reached out to the legislators and me. Your voices were heard.