New Amherst Group Seeks to Aid Public Schools, Save Open Space

A group of Amherst residents is gathering signatures on a petition that would have the town spend more on public schools, open space protection, and other items. The petition supports a so-called "proposition 2½ override."

"When the roof is leaking you fix it to protect your home," Andrew Churchill told The Valley Post. Churchill is a supporter of the petition drive and assistant director of the UMass Amherst Center for Education Policy. He said recent cuts to the town budget have resulted in a situation like a leaky roof on a house.

Amherst public schools cut 55 full-time positions in 2009, according to the authors of the petition.

People can sign the petition, and learn more about the reasons for it, at www.VoteYesForAmherst.org.

The head of the petition drive is Clare Bertrand. She can be reached at ClareBertrand@comcast.net or by phone at (413) 531-4235.

A town vote on the issue will be held on March 23.

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This map shows the Pioneer Valley section of the Connecticut River watershed. Land outside the watershed is light green, meaning streams in that area do not flow to the Connecticut River. Dark green land has been protected from development. Red land is vulnerable to being "developed." Please click on the map to enlarge it. Map by the Trust for Public Land, 2006.

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