Chariho School Parents’ Forum

December 1, 2007

What would it take for me to support the bond?

Filed under: bond — Editor @ 9:54 pm

I was asked that question by Giancarlo long ago – but I’ve learned a bit since then.  I was asked again recently – here is my answer.

Option 1.
A.  End RYSE giving services to parents.  I don’t even want to discuss its efficacy or cost – its just not what I want done at a school.  That can’t be done with a bond – but its the way I would want to go and it is under the board’s control.
B.  Bring 5th and 6th back.  I suppose it cant be addressed in this bond either due to restrictions (at least that’s what we are told) but it should be part of the plan somehow (perhaps with allocated funds in the new budget).
C.  Trim High School work to absolute necessities – and build in maintenance into the budget so we don’t watch it fall apart.
D.  Fix the tax issue.  This has been festering for decades.  Fix it once and for all – and not just for this bond – but for the entire budget.

And I can’t support one part without all of it – I sincerely believe that if we get 3 out of 4, we will never see that last one.  Never.  Hopkinton is finally at a place where we can finally get some of these things we have been talking about for decades.  I know some are board decisions and not bond items, but lets hear them say they will do it and we could move forward.

But in light of it not happening, I gave a second option. 

Option 2
A.  Tally up all the money Hopkinton has paid into Chariho for buildings and land,etc.
B.  Tally up all the money Hopkinton would owe (pensions, etc…)
C.  Give Hopkinton that net figure.
D.  Then the town gives each Hopkinton student a voucher for whatever the cost for that student is (which is different for regular ed (approx $13K), special ed (approx ??K), and RYSE (approx 52K)).  If that parent wants the child to stay at Chariho, they can do so and Chariho would get the money.  If a parent wants the child to go to a different school (public, private, charter, whatever) the money goes to that school.  Since most of those schools cost less than Chariho, the balance goes to the town.

Option 2 is very popular with some, very unpopular with others.  But they asked what I liked – so I told them.  Some fear that there are not enough schools if everyone leaves Chariho – well, if there are not enough schools, they stay at Chariho – no worse off.  (although, I think a charter or private school would fill that market).   Some fear that most kids would leave and the only ones left would be kids with disengaged parents.  True, but again, worse case scenario is they are still at Chariho. 

The only down side to vouchers is that Hopkinton would loose its seat on the board.  And that’s fine.  I don’t tell the gas station or Stop and Shop how to run its business.  If I don’t like how they do business, I go to the other gas station or Shaws.  I will give up the right to tell Chariho how to run its business if my town has the right to walk away (with their money).

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2 Comments »

  1. I’d put the second option (vouchers) first, but other then that, nothing to argue with…it is critical that Hopkinton never agree to a bond until tax equity is in place. The minute we pass a bond without equity, it will never happen. Never.

    Comment by Curious Resident — December 1, 2007 @ 10:18 pm | Reply

  2. Almost forgot this one. If it is determine that RYSE is cost efficient and educationally effective for some children, then I would still want RYSE to be offered as ONE option from which parents can choose. I do not believe that parents should be forced to use RYSE unless they feel it is best for THEIR child.

    Comment by Curious Resident — December 1, 2007 @ 10:44 pm | Reply


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