Chariho School Parents’ Forum

October 29, 2007

Thirst for transparency

Filed under: 1 — Editor @ 8:50 pm

The effort of this blog has always been to share information.  Obviously, it contains my views and opinions, but it also includes the documentation so you are free to form your own views and opinions.  I was always happy if 10-20 people per day would visit – whether they posted comments or not.  I knew they were here for the information.  Thanks to all of your contributed comments and interest, readership is much more than 10-20 people (or “2 to 3” as Bill Day has suggested).  Thank you again for being involved.

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Total Views: 28,982

Best Day Ever: 797

Views today: 335

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Posts: 165

Comments: 1,036

Tags: 28

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7 Comments »

  1. In my thirst for transparency, I’ve been reviewing a document called “Report on Public School Funding: Factors in Washington County Rhode Island”.

    The analysis was prepared in May 2006 and contains some fascinating information. Of note was the Special Education calculations.

    I’ve voiced my suspicion that RYSE/Special Needs’ per pupil costs have been watered down by putting more students into special needs pool. This reality is borne out by this: in 2003 and 2004 Special Education enrollment was flat at around 1,400 students. In 2005 Special Education enrollment went to an amazing 4,500 students!

    Now this alone is certainly troubling (and coincides with Chariho’s skyrocketing Special Education expenses), but it gets worse, because by adding all these so-called Special Education students into the system, the per pupil cost for Special Education plummetted (sound familiar).

    That’s right, by turning mainstream students into Special Eduation students, the Special Education establishment in Washington County was able to claim that “per pupil expenditures” fell from $42,086 in 2004 to $13,689 per pupil in 2005.

    Now, at Chariho, we are watching the same song and dance. Based on the budget, funding for Special Education is through the roof, yet we have been told by the administration and some School Committee members that the per pupil costs have declined.

    We are being played for fools by these people. There is no excuse for us not to be given the Special Eduation costs at Chariho before and after the introduction of RYSE. Think about it.

    Comment by Curious Resident — October 30, 2007 @ 3:38 pm | Reply

  2. More transparency.

    Out of 7 Washington County School districts in 2000 Chariho’s per pupil cost was third lowest. North Kingstown and South Kingstown were lower.

    By 2004 Chariho’s per pupil costs had also risen ahead of Westerly and Exeter-West Greenwich. Who knows, by now we might have already caught up with Narragansett and New Shoreham?

    Keep in mind that these are the costs of our operational budgets. This is the budget that is supposed to maintain our schools in good shape. We’ve been paying more while also providing inferior maintenance. If we had budgeted for facilities maintenance as was obviously required, we’d look even worse by comparison.

    Comment by Curious Resident — October 30, 2007 @ 3:44 pm | Reply

  3. Hello Bill,

    I am one of the people who just visit the site for information. I felt I need to make a point about the 10 to 20 people who visit per day.
    Even though I might only be recorded as 1 person for my visit, I talk to fellow neighbors and residents about the information I obtain from this blog. The way I figure it, my 1 visit equates to a half dozen people or more. So if you multiply similar numbers by the 10-20 visitors, this blog could easily be reaching more than 100 people. Keep the information flowing.

    Comment by R S — October 30, 2007 @ 6:20 pm | Reply

  4. RS, thanks for sharing the info. As you can see from the statistics, word is getting around as our top day had 797 visits and with 9359 visits so far this month, we are averaging more than 300 per day. All due to word of mouth from people like you – thanks!

    Comment by Bill Felkner — October 30, 2007 @ 8:15 pm | Reply

  5. With so many people visiting or talking I would like to suggest or recommend that no matter what happens with the bond, please call your town councillors and ask that the Chariho Act be reviewed and revised. It is crucial to Hopkinton and Richmond homeowners, it is less marvelous for Charlestown’s citizens but the money for a school system used by everyone equally needs to be funded equally. Then we could make the bonds pass or fail by a majority of homeowners instead of by town.

    My home will personally pay over $2,000 more per year than the same home in Charlestown using the identical educational system. This has got to stop. It may need a grass roots tax revolt to tear down and rebuild the structure of the act. Vote NO and begin the process. Just like your home, rot doesn’t get better the longer you ignore it.

    Comment by Barbara Capalbo — October 30, 2007 @ 8:54 pm | Reply

  6. If the bond passes Charlestown will never agree to a new funding formula. Who can blame them?

    The only leverage Hopkinton has is to force Charlestown to recognize we have spending limits which we will not exceed until Charlestown begins to carry an equal burden. We begin this education of Charlestown by rejecting every bond which leaves Hopkinton taxpayers with THREE TIMES the tax burden of equally situated Charlestown taxpayers.

    This bond is wrong on just about everything, but even if the bond was totally justified, Hopkinton should still reject it because with the bond comes a guarantee of 20 more years of unrestrained budgets.

    Mr. Petit, with his typical naive perspective, thinks we should thank Charlestown taxpayers for agreeing to pay three times less than Hopkinton taxpayers. How about Charlestown thanking Hopkinton and Richmond taxpayers for sacrificing our incomes for their childrens’ educations? How about that Mr. Petit?

    Comment by Curious Resident — October 30, 2007 @ 9:11 pm | Reply

  7. […] Town Council member, Barbara Capalbo reminds us of the importance to get the Act updated.  It is 11 years out of date, with at least 2 […]

    Pingback by The Chariho Act « Chariho School Parents’ Forum — October 30, 2007 @ 9:18 pm | Reply


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