Chariho School Parents’ Forum

October 25, 2007

Inflation – Chariho style

Filed under: bond — Editor @ 11:55 pm

Barbara Capalbo has been busy – God bless her.  Looking at the $99M bond (which presented the RYSE building plans based on 2007 projected estimates) she has noticed some funny accounting for the current RYSE building plan.

Right now the $2,876,000 RYSE building from the 99 million bond is now at $3,920,000 — that’s 1.1 million more in less than one year for the identical building, identical footprint, identical program. Why? What happened? The $2,876,000 was listed as ‘escalated 2007’ cost in the 99 million bond. Last I checked, this is 2007. 1.1 MILLION MORE FOR THE SAME BUILDING.

Must be that “new math.”



  1. Well we do know that the Investigations curriculum is wishy-washy and conceptual. With fuzzy math anything is possible.

    Comment by Curious Resident — October 26, 2007 @ 12:39 am | Reply

  2. That must be it.

    Those of us against the bond have only words to fight with. We don’t have unions to send letters or phone calls, we don’t have PTO’s or parent groups, we don’t have $10,000 of building fund monies for brohures and dinners and lunches. We just have the truth.

    Our children have gone or are going through Chariho. We are not unaware of the buildings or the issues. But it is easier to castigate, refuse to answer hard numbers and the harder questions, to see that this might have been well thought out for the 99 million plan and is being recycled for this 26 million option.

    Most of us are not disagreeing with the high school needs but not when 33% of the bond is unnecessary and the costs are not established for moving the library, the fuel tanks, the maintenance shed, the vehicle entrances and exits — all of which had to be re-arranged a few months ago — with an engineering firm that couldn’t find the main well and promptly designed the library over it.

    And since everyone’s truth is their own, our citizens have to choose which path they wish to take.

    Comment by Barbara Capalbo — October 26, 2007 @ 6:53 am | Reply

  3. Although he avoids engaging us here, Mr. Day apparently does know how to write. Maybe a letter-to-the-editor is less risky since we are unable to reply to the tripe he spouts? At the bottom is Mr. Day’s letter in ProJo.

    Mr. Petit must have learned at Mr. Day’s knee as a child because they both use misguided emotion to make their arguments. Mr. Day would have us believe that opposition to RYSE is based on a “not in my backyard” attitude. I’ve yet to hear anyone oppose RYSE out of fear of having special needs students remain in the area. One more distortion from those wanting us to support RYSE. Why can’t they speak honestly and truthfully?

    Ironically, Mr. Day has the power to end all of the opposition in no time flat. He simply needs to provide clear and concise data verifying that RYSE is effective for ALL students at a reasonable cost. Not just the words, but the actual budgetary and testing data. With information proving that RYSE saves money and is most beneficial to all special needs children, I can’t imagine anyone would oppose the program.

    Here’s Mr. Day’s latest nonsense:

    RYSE program benefits us all

    As a person who has spent 10 years working with people with special needs, I must respond to those narrow-minded individuals who have a “not in my backyard” mindset.

    The students enrolled in the “Reaching Youth through Support and Education” (RYSE) program in Chariho are the children of families and taxpayers from the towns of Charlestown, Richmond and Hopkinton who have issues that we as a school district must help them with, so that they can become productive members of our community.

    Rather than sending them to Providence, Portsmouth, South Kingstown or any other out-of-the-way place, this local program has made a positive impact on the young lives of these students. RYSE students are no more a threat to our community than any other person living among us. Do not be misled by the “NIMBY” faction.

    The RYSE program does not violate the Chariho Act, as the legal opinion from Hopkinton Town Solicitor Patricia A. Buckley to the Hopkinton Town Council, dated Oct. 9, states. The proposed RYSE building is the exact same size as the trailers that are costing taxpayers $219,860 in rental fees per year.

    William Day

    Comment by Curious Resident — October 26, 2007 @ 4:05 pm | Reply

  4. Not sure where to post this question, but did Mr. Thorton tender his resignation effective at the end of the year? I only saw a snippet, but the headline was that two Chariho administrators resigned. Any truth to this and were reasons given?

    I understand that Mr. Thorton was the person responsible for curriculum? If the news is true, this might be positive as ridding the school of Investigations/TERC will hopefully be easier. Was Mr. Thorton also a proponent of 5th and 6th graders being educated with the older children?

    I’d prefer to see his position remain vacant, but assuming that is not going to happen, I’m hoping the School Committee picks a replacement with a track record of fiscal restraint and accountability.

    Comment by Curious Resident — October 26, 2007 @ 9:50 pm | Reply

  5. Since the School Committe and the administration refuse to provide details on special needs costs with and without RYSE, I analyzed 2003-04 budget information against 2006-07 to determine a ballpark estimate. I tried to itemize to the best of my ability. I’ve included all raw data I used. I do not believe in fuzzy facts and figures.

    I’m not sure if RYSE existed in the 2003-2004 school year or not, but I’m thinking if it did it was not fully implemented. Either way, you will see that special needs costs have skyrocketed over the last 3 years.

    In 2003-2004 I estimate special needs costs to be $9,923,740.
    In 2006-2007 I estimate special needs costs to be $12,274,355.

    Special needs costs have risen by $2,350,615 or 23.7% the last three years. Keep in mind I used the current year’s budget. I’m sure costs have risen even more in the proposed budget for 2007-2008.

    Unless I get detailed rebuttal, I think it is clear that RYSE has cost us substantially and is not a cost efficient program.

    We still do not know if it achieves superior results, but based on the lack of data flowing from the program, I suspect they are hiding this information just like they’ve been hiding cost effectiveness.

    The raw data used does not include Principals, Custodians, Aides, Maintenance, Utilities, and a number of other expense items. The raw data I used is below and is straight from Chariho’s budget. Please feel free to pick it apart or tell me where I messed up. I look forward to any denial by administration officials or pro-bond supporters. Please supply details when denying my calculations.

    Pre K 03-04: $0
    Pre K 06-07: $$101,171

    Alternative Learning Program 03-04: $0
    Alternative Learning Program 06-07: $232,030

    The RYSE facility contains a “mini-library”. Librarians salaries have increased approximately $83,000 from 03-04 to 06-07. Libarians Clerks salary expenses have increased approx. $14,000. Conservatively I will attribute $50,000 to RYSE for library services.

    Resource Services 03-04: $1,816,962
    Resource Services 06-07: $2,385,129

    Self-Contained Expenses 03-04: $2,300,265
    Self-Contained Expenses 06-07: $2,630,846

    Non-Pub Day 180 Days 03-04: $153,938
    Non-Pub Day 180 Days 06-07: $103,500

    Non-Pub 230 Days 03-04: $565,331
    Non-Pub 230 Days 06-07: $215,300

    Residential Non-Pub/Beneficiary 03-04: $75,861
    Residential Non-Pub/Beneficiary 06-07: $379,000

    Residential Non-Pub/Non-Ben 03-04: $153,361
    Residential Non-Pub/Non-Ben 06-07: $0

    Although I’m not positive about the acronyms, I believe the “Non-Pub” items refers to non-public schools. I’m assuming these would be the out of district tuition costs. Interesting that out of district tuition expenses have only declined by $250,691.

    Pre Sch/Pub/Non-Pub 1/2 Time 03-04: $219,521
    Pre Sch/Pub/Non-Pub 1/2 Time 06-07: $224,534

    Pre School, Pub/Non-Pub Full Time 03-04: $34,743
    Pre School, Pub/Non-Pub Full Time 06-07: $37,500

    Special Ed 03-04: $364,413
    Special Ed 06-07: $338,428

    Social Workers 03-04: $214,026
    Social Workers 06-07: $272,390

    Psychological Services 03-04: $694,723
    Psychological Services 06-07: $851,970

    I’m not sure if I should include Guidance or School Nurse, but salaries went through the roof and could very well be attributable to new Guidance counselors and a new nurse being brought into the RYSE program. With declining enrollment elsewhere, this seems to make sense.

    Guidance 03-04: $551,297
    Guidance 06-07: $795,022

    School Nurse 03-04: $360,605
    School Nurse 06-07: $459,268

    Transportation is extremely enlightening. Those questioning RYSE have been told that transportation savings are a big benefit to RYSE. Look how small the savings really are below.

    Special Education Transportation 03-04: $938,295
    Special Education Transportation 06-07: $833,797

    Not sure if Private/Charter School Transportation includes Special Needs students, but here it is –

    Private/Charter School Transportation 03-04: $80,399
    Private/Charter School Transportation 06-07: $184,470

    Salaries for special needs salaries exceed $4,000,000. I estimate total salaries at $20,000,000. Special needs fringe benefits are accounted for at 20% of total benefits.

    Special Needs Fringe Benefits 03-04: est. $1,400,000
    Special Needs Fringe Benefits 06-07: est. $2,200,000

    Comment by Curious Resident — October 27, 2007 @ 12:27 am | Reply

  6. With all the faux concern over the cost of the RYSE building, how could I have forgotten to add that cost to my calculations???

    Revised –

    In 2003-2004 I estimate special needs costs to be $9,923,740 (without leased buildings).
    In 2006-2007 I estimate special needs costs to be $12,493,355 (with leased buildings).

    Special needs costs have risen by $2,569,615 or 25.9% the last three years.

    Comment by Curious Resident — October 27, 2007 @ 2:10 am | Reply

  7. I would think that a good example to provide for other workers would be to NOT replace Thornton. Since we are asking others to do more, and get paid A FAIR WAGE, WE SHOULD EXPECT THE SAME FROM ADMINISTRATION! Instead of Mr Ricci directing members of the school committee to “form a sub committee to study that”, lets direct and expect Mr. Ricci to do a bit on his own, under the direction of the school committee.

    Comment by Georgies Mom — October 27, 2007 @ 7:55 am | Reply

  8. I’ll be happy if they find an administrator who speaks plainly and doesn’t play games with the public. Not sure if this is possible as they may be taught the art of obfuscation as part of the administrator curriculum in college. “Don’t tell’em anything and then they can never challenge you” could be the slogan of school administration.

    Comment by Curious Resident — October 27, 2007 @ 8:54 am | Reply

  9. I believe that the Asst. Superintendent served two rolls. A replacement for the superintendent and a curriculum director. I also believe he arranged for grants and I’ve seen that he analyzes standardized test scores.

    Perhaps there is a way to replace from within without hiring a new employee. A curriculum director, I believe, is a state mandate.

    Comment by Lois Buck — October 27, 2007 @ 10:11 am | Reply

  10. Maybe we can hire a less expensive curriculum director and also get a lap dog for Mr. Ricci? Then again, the School Committee has done a fine job being his lap dog up to this point.

    Whoever gets hired, I hope they are capable of measuring the results of RYSE.

    Maybe the new person can also serve as a communication director and make sure the public gets access to the information necessary to determine if we are getting what we pay for? Chariho has done a great job filtering information flow…I’d like to see the filter removed.

    Comment by Curious Resident — October 27, 2007 @ 10:29 am | Reply

  11. PLEASE! Do NOT even THINK of “replacement from within”. ENOUGH of that type of behavior…it is a type of incest at its worst! ENOUGH with the mental midgets and their behavior that we have seen! Windmills, investigative math, inability to consider and REALLY analyze test scores. He can’t even “prescribe” or restructure or provide for review some type of curriculum that works and makes students sucessful. EVEN WITH all the information available. We do not need more of that! Perhaps he was not allow the freedom he needed to put forth the correct information, I do not know. All I know is that we need to get more bang for our buck when it comes to education, and right now we are just not getting it. So hire someone for curriculum development, as for replacing the superintendent when he is gone….who would MISS him? In a way, I am sorry that he is leaving, as he MIGHT have been a great deal better the Ricci. We never actually saw any of his abilities, ever. Good grief, I wish we could clean out the whole crew of lying, sneaky, ##***@@#.

    Comment by Georgies Mom — October 27, 2007 @ 4:50 pm | Reply

  12. I have to agree with Georgies Mom. Mr. Ricci was brought in by Mr. Pini and then replaced him. Even if he is capable and the best choice it is difficult to presume without serious outside competitors. An objective view is also of great benefit and should be encouraged.

    Comment by Barbara Capalbo — October 27, 2007 @ 6:50 pm | Reply

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