Chariho School Parents’ Forum

April 5, 2007

Taxpayer funded advocacy

Filed under: Budget,Chariho,Unions — Editor @ 10:29 am

The Chariho NEA has sent out postcards to all NEA members (not just Chariho NEA members) asking for them to vote yes on the Chariho budget.

The current contract requires that we pay for a NEA representative to leave their job at the school to do union business.  That means we pay the NEA rep’s salary and pay for a replacement for them while they are gone.

Maybe if we didn’t allow such misuse of our taxes we wouldn’t have such a high per pupil cost for education.  Remember, RI’s per pupil expenditures for teachers’ compensation is the HIGHEST IN THE COUNTRY.  Unfortunately, our student performance is among the LOWEST IN THE COUNTRY.  And of course, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has given RI a Grade Point Average of 0.9, THE ABSOLUTE LOWEST IN THE COUNTRY.  And as seen in the post below, Chariho can’t even compete with our neighbors in North Kingstown in either efficiency or effectiveness.  Our per pupils expenditures are far more than theirs yet our student performance is far lower.  How low must we go before we say enough is enough.


I too urge you to vote on Tuesday (April 10) but I would ask that you vote NO.  The School Board needs more pressure from taxpayers to get these runaway costs under control.  See the post below to see how out-of-whack our expenditures are.



  1. In my recent exploration of the Chariho budget and curriculum, I reached the conclusion that the budget was bad for Hopkinton without even exploring the teachers’ contract or their role in selecting misguided Investigations curriculum.

    Without considering the salaries, benefits and work hours of teachers, the decision to reject a contract loaded with vague budget items; unnecessary administrative salaries; and potentially damaging social services and psychologist salaries; was easy to make. This contract takes care of everyone associated with the school except for the children.

    The fact the the teachers’ union, which is partially taxpayer funded, i.e. union reps can conduct business on taxpayers’ time, lends further weight to the need to vote no on this budget.

    Teachers with any integrity should ask their union to stay out of the politics of the school. If individual taxpayers, who happen to be teachers, want to publically voice their support, fine, they should do so. But the organization that speaks for all teachers, should refrain from taking a public stance which may not represent the view point of all members.

    I believe that there are honest teachers with character who agree that this is yet another bloated budget with distorted priorities and a focus on adults rather than children. I certainly hope I am right.

    Comment by Curious Resident — April 5, 2007 @ 3:20 pm | Reply

  2. I think Ms. Hawkins is correct — together we can make a difference. It’s just may not be the difference she expects.

    We have fine teachers, good librarians, caring guidance counselors — too many administrators and not enough kitchen and maintenance staff. The budget can be cut without sacrificing education and maintenance — but school personnel must stand up too and vote no – their salaries and benefits can’t be touched. There are too many bosses, not enough peons.

    The more politics enters into this budget fray, the more good will is lost for the schools. I know the staff are generally trying to stay above this quagmire, but that’s not enough. Why are we as parents and taxpayers expected to request more advanced classes, more lanquages, stronger curriculum if school personnel can’t help us keep extras in check? We all need to work together to create the highest performing school comparable to the #1 districts in the country.

    Comment by BarbaraC — April 6, 2007 @ 3:03 pm | Reply

  3. While I think teachers are overpaid, we’ve got so many other problems at Chariho that I haven’t given it any thought lately.

    As Ms. Capalbo noted, the teachers got their piece of the pie already, and nobody is talking about reneging on the contract. I hope we are ready to play hardball when the next teachers’ contract is negotiated. At this point, I don’t even care if my children sit out a year of school, we have to get spending under control. But, as far as this latest budget goes, teachers derive no benefits from the issues we’ve written about here. Teachers can actually join with parents and other taxpayers in rejecting this budget as we voice our objections to the inefficiencies at Chariho. A no vote on this budget is no threat to teachers that I can see.

    We have too many administrators, I’m sure this is a pain in the butt to many teachers as administrators with not enough to do get involved in classroom decisions. Teachers should support cutting administrators.

    We have a math curriculum, Investigations, that doesn’t teach children math skills. I understand that Investigations relieves teachers of actually teaching while students “group think”, but I’ve talk to several teachers who hate Investigations; want to teach skills; and are as frustrated as parents as they see children not learning what they need to learn. Teachers can support eliminating TERC/Investigations.

    We have pre-teen children being exposed to teenage behaviors. Yes, parents must deal with the results at home, but teachers must be experiencing difficulties with the younger children whose attitudes and behaviors are abnormally influenced by their interactions with teenage behaviors? Teachers can certainly support putting 5th and 6th graders back into elementary schools.

    While Chariho spends mega-bucks on social and psychological services, normal students suffer as an exorbitant amount of money is targeted for “troubled” students. Most of these “troubled” students are placed in programs isolated from mainstream classrooms. Surely teachers recognize that “normal” students are being shortchanged as Chariho tries to be a social service agency rather than an educational institution? Teachers should support greater focus on mainstream learning.

    All and all, I think the Chariho NEA letter is driven by the knee jerk response of the union to the inherent “goodness” of taxpayers spending more money for schools. I think the Chariho NEA is being shortsighted, because the more money we waste on administrators and buildings, the less money we will be willing to waste on teachers. If the union had any sense, they’d be on the front lines calling for teachers to reject this budget.

    Comment by Curious Resident — April 6, 2007 @ 11:58 pm | Reply

  4. Tell me…WHY does it ake two old ladies to determine a roof is leaking, and why is the current message “Kill the messenger”. Seems to me that if Andrew McQuaide (nephew of the ever popular Mageau on the Charleston Town Council) and Mr. Petit paid more attention to the workings of the school that maybe the maintenance would be beter, the roof would not leak, the schools would not be crumbling in spite of the millions spent, and our kids would get a better education.

    Comment by Georgies Mom — April 23, 2007 @ 3:34 pm | Reply

  5. No doubt if the budget recently passed paid as much attention to maintenance as it paid to maintaining unnecessary administrators, psyhologists and other social scientists, our schools would be a lot better off.

    Comment by Curious Resident — April 24, 2007 @ 1:53 pm | Reply

  6. […] really leave us many options.  The school will have about $9000 to promote the bond, the unions will do their part, and the only taxpayer group in the area will sit this one out while lobbying the local newspaper […]

    Pingback by Where are the taxpayer groups? « Chariho School Parents’ Forum — October 13, 2008 @ 12:48 pm | Reply

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