Chariho School Parents’ Forum

February 26, 2007

My response to the article in the previous post

Filed under: Budget,Chariho,grade spans — Editor @ 6:01 pm

[Westerly Sun] 

“Don’t be fooled by early ‘propaganda’ supporting the Chariho bond”

 

It appears that the propaganda sup­porting the Chariho bond is in full swing.

 

The most recent noise comes from Richard Hosp, who claims that this bond is a bargain because, “structure inflation is at an all-time high, and will likely remain.” Critics would point out that the construction boom has peaked and the “inflation” will end.

 

According to the National Association of Home Builders “ Random Lengths” Key Price Indicators, framing lumber per 1,000 feet was $366 in October 2005. The October 2006 price was $278.

 

Mr. Hosp also states, “While the dis­trict could dissolve and each town could have its town school system, that would cost each town significant­ly more than its costs to operate Chariho.” This statement also assumes more than I’m willing to accept. Allow me to explain why I believe otherwise.

 

The full-time employee (FTE) to stu­dent ratio is a good measure of effi­ciency. It tells us how many employees (read salaries and benefits) it takes to get the job done.According to the U.S. Department of Education, the student-to-FTE ratio for the entire nation is 15.8 to 1. In other words, there are 15.8 students for each FTE. The average ratio in Rhode Island is 13.2. Chariho has a ratio of 11.3. Chariho is 14 percent less efficient than the state average and 28 percent less efficient than the national average.

When Chariho was formed, we were told that the consolidation would result in fewer employees needed per student, not more. But when local con­trol is lost, bureaucracies have a ten­dency to grow. Smaller, more locally controlled schools have not only been shown to vastly improve student per­formance, but they also increase community involvement and scrutiny.

 

Considering the facts that Rhode Island ranks as low as 40th in the nation on student performance (the U.S. Department of Education) and our per-pupil spending on teacher compensation is the highest in the country, it appears that all those extra employees (and money) are not getting the job done.

 

Personally, I find it insulting that Mr. Hosp would think that each town couldn’t do better.

 Bill Felkner Ashaway Member, Chariho School Committee  

Advertisements

Leave a Comment »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: