Please consider the regionalization question

Please consider the regionalization question

To the Editor:

The topic was, “Would regionalization improve our schools?”

Might I suggest that all persons who are concerned about the benefits, or lack thereof of regionalization of the schools on the Vineyard take the opportunity to view an open discussion with Martha’s Vineyard superintendent of schools Dr. James Weiss and retired superintendent Peter Palches sponsored by the League of Women Voters at their annual meeting on May 18.

On behalf of the League of Women Voters, I videotaped this meeting for your viewing convenience and it is available at MVTV’s website, mvtv.org. Either click the “schedule” tab to learn date and time for viewing on television or go to the “video on demand” tab and in the search window enter: League of Women Voters Annual Meeting Education Would Regionalization Improve Our Schools?

May I further suggest that you honor the time and commitment of our current school superintendent, Dr. James Weiss, and former school superintendent, Dr. Peter Palches’ learned opinions and suggestions regarding the benefit of regionalization based on their firsthand knowledge and experience.

If after you have taken the time to view the footage, make a decision and form your very own opinion, then have the courage to be a part of the solution.

It seems that this island could use regionalization of many services to save millions of dollars that could best be used to either fund and/or create much-needed services on this island.

For example, the monies saved from regionalization could be used to further educate the children (the future of the Island) with a pre-K and college campus; respectfully provide for the needs of our seniors with ample housing and services; provide affordable housing for year-round residents as well as housing for the growing homeless population. This island desperately needs an on-Island detox facility. The list of needs continues to grow. These concerns are real and they are not going away.

Further, the funds saved from regionalization could be used to supplement many of the charitable organizations on the Vineyard which are stretched to the limit. The dedicated and tireless volunteers who year after year work diligently to fundraise within the community and attract the tourist dollars each season is admirable, however the needs grow and those funds can do less and less each year. Honestly, the people of Martha’s Vineyard are very generous –— but people struggling to raise families and cover day-to-day living expenses cannot afford to give as much as they would like to give, even though in their hearts they truly want to do more and give more.

I realize this is a seasonal community which is funded primarily through tourism, however if you continue to allow the cost of living to be so expensive what will the outcome be? The future of the Vineyard? In the past year, I personally know of longtime Island families that have moved off Island because it is too expensive to continue the fight and struggle to live here.

Won’t you please consider change? At the very least, start a conversation — pros and cons.  I urge you to open your hearts to the possibility that regionalization of the Island schools to start, as well as other necessary services on the Vineyard, could ultimately strengthen our Island communities.

Gladys T. Toscano

Oak Bluffs

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