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Input sought on elementary schools

Residents asked to weigh in on future

A former ConVal School Board member wants to know if residents will ever consider closing one or more of the district’s elementary schools.

And to find out, he’s started a website, called saveconvalcosts.blogspot.com, to solicit feedback to two questions: “Should the residents of ConVal towns keep eight elementary schools open and running in perpetuity, regardless of cost?” and, “Are the residents of ConVal towns willing to forgo both significant tax savings and educational benefits, in order to keep eight elementary schools open?”

Matt Craig of Sharon says the responses he gets may help him decide whether to circulate a petition article to change the wording of ConVal’s Articles of Agreement, which now call for elementary schools to be maintained in all the district’s towns except Sharon.

“I just want to ask the questions,” Craig said on Wednesday. “Will we even consider closing a school? If the answer is no, nothing else matters. If we’re willing to re-examine it, that’s OK too.”

Craig said past efforts to change the Articles of Agreement came on relatively short notice and became emotional issues. He believes people deserve time to mull over options, which is why he started his survey immediately after the recent School District voting.

“The only real way to gauge things is with a warrant article,” he said.

But he may not even be pushing the warrant article too hard.

“There’s a possibility I may not even get 25 signatures,” he said. “This is not a campaign. I just want to put the idea out there.”

Craig just completed a term on the School Board, where he served as chair of the Budget and Property Committee. He had planned to run for a second term, he said, but decided against it because he wanted to be able to spend more time in the evenings with his children, who are 7 and 9 years old.

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