The vision of the Berkshire County Education Task Force is a single, countywide school district that would create sustainable educational opportunities and academic support to a dwindling student population.
The controversial recommendation, made in July after two years of study and modeling, hasn't been an easy sell in the small towns fearing that consolidation means school closings and loss of local control.
City leaders still have an array of questions to ask of the Berkshire County Educational Task Forces' goal of a single district for the entire county.
But, they remain optimistic that even asking those questions and having that conversation will lead to increased shared services.
Nearly a month after acting on the data accumulated in Phase 2 of the task force's multiyear study of the county's education system, the members at Saturday's meeting remained firm in their commitment that a single school district provides the best long-term option for providing educational opportunity and fiscal stability in a time of rising costs and declining populations county wide.
Like many others, I appreciate the time the members of the Berkshire Educational Task Force have spent on a challenging and important problem. Their recommendation is being discussed in a variety of places, and thus merits a response.
School Committee Chairwoman Regina DiLego participated in 32 meetings of the Berkshire County Educational Task Force over two years.
And it was exhausting. But as the group voted last Saturday to recommend a single school district for all of Berkshire County, she's become "re-energized."