Chariho School Parents’ Forum

June 11, 2007

Chariho solicitor supports legality of RYSE

Filed under: RYSE paperwork — Editor @ 6:43 pm

In response to a request I made a few weeks ago, the Chariho solicitor, John Earle, gave his opinion on the creation of RYSE and the Chariho Act (read this letter for details).  In short- it is Mr. Earle’s opinion that since the school is required to provide education, creating the RYSE program is not outside the “scope of the function” of the school. 

There was no mention of the fact that RYSE now supplies “24 hour a day/ 7 days a week” “mental health services.”  Not only do we treat students, we also provide treatment for the family as this is part of our new treatment model (Kathy Perry also noted that these additional services for family members has resulted in more Medicaid reimbursement than we received when we sent the kids out to places like South Shore).  As a matter of fact, according to PC Inc, we now supply diabetes treatments.  But according to this legal opinion, all this is under the authority of Chariho to supply “educational needs.”

 Here is the letter.

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3 Comments »

  1. I’m not surprised that the Chariho solicitor chose to cover the behind of the administration and the school committee, but it is interesting to note that he doesn’t address the service offered by RYSE that go well above and beyond meeting the educational needs of children.

    What if I were to say that my children were not at their best unless they had a morning swim to invigorate them? Would Chariho be forced to build a swimming pool? What if my children oversleep and don’t have time for breakfast…clearly this impedes their ability to learn. Is this Chariho’s responsibility or mine? I tend to be a night person and function best after 3 PM. My children seem to share my biological clock. Should Chariho be forced to accomodate the special needs of my children?

    Obviously my points are extreme, but when did schools become responsible for the mental well-being of children? I’m all for educating children, and within reason, accomodating certain needs, but RYSE is a combination school/psychiatric center/diabetes clinic, and it is absurd to pretend it does not go beyond “education”.

    I’m not surprised by this attorneys ruling…this guy knows who feeds him and his family…but let’s not be fooled. I hope the town’s solicitor hasn’t been tainted by her meals at the public trough.

    Comment by Curious Resident — June 12, 2007 @ 12:38 am | Reply

  2. Is Chariho’s John Earle also the solicitor in Warwick? Is he also a probate judge? If he holds these three government positions, I hardly would count on him to take the side of taxpayers.

    Perhaps it is the job of a solicitor to never admit wrongdoing by the government body he represents? This seems reasonable. Imagine if Mr. Earle admitted RYSE violated the Chariho Act and he left Chariho in the position of being liable for breaking the law? I wouldn’t be surprised to find that it is unethical for Chariho’s solicitor to admit wrongdoing by Chariho. Could someone ask him this question?

    I also found an article in the Chariho Times from 2003. Mr. Earle was the solicitor for Chariho even back then. The article specifically notes that Mr. Earle was involved in issues pertaining to the leasing of a building(s) for CAP. It is my understanding that CAP was the original acronynm used for what is now known as RYSE. If this is the case, and Mr. Earle was significantly involved in the original violation of the Chariho Act, then I believe it is unethical for him to not recuse himselves from this opinion and suggest that the School Committee seek an outside legal opinion. If RYSE exists in violation of the law, then Mr. Earle himself seems to have some responsibility. The article can be read here:

    http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=10070813&BRD=1717&PAG=461&dept_id=74264&rfi=6

    If he is the Warwick solicitor, in February of 2007, he denied the city of Warwick had unreasonably delayed the issuance of permits in a suit brought by the RI Builders Association. As I read the article, it struck me that he either is obligated to not admit wrongdoing, or he feels loyalty to government. You can read the article here:

    http://warwickonline.com/warwickonline/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31526&Itemid=174

    Here’s a quote from Mr. Earl (sound familiar?):

    “City Solicitor John Earle said he believes Warwick has conducted itself appropriately.”

    Comment by Curious Resident — June 12, 2007 @ 1:34 am | Reply

  3. Mr. Felkner, I think it would be appropriate to re-title this post, “Chariho Solitor Supports Himself”. Since he was the legal counsel when RYSE (or as it was known then – CAP) was first snuck into Chariho, then his opinion seems to be that he did nothing wrong. Having just discovered that he was the lawyer at RYSE’s inception, I now realize it is silly to think his opinion could be objective.

    Let’s hope Hopkinton’s solicitor isn’t buddies with this Earle character and perhaps she will come to the obvious conclusion that RYSE is an expansion of the scope of Chariho and violates the Chariho Act.

    It will be interesting to see how the local media reports Mr. Earle’s opinion. I wonder if they will report that he was also the solicitor when the RYSE program was brought to Chariho? Since I found the information in the Chariho Times, you’d think at least they would acknowledge this obvious conflict of interest.

    I’d also like to see the media inform reader’s that Mr. Earle holds several government lawyer positions (if he is the same John Earle who is Warwick’s solicitor AND a probate judge. I believe this is important so readers can assess whether he is more likely to appease government bodies or protect taxpayers from government growth.

    Comment by Curious Resident — June 12, 2007 @ 1:54 am | Reply


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