Chariho School Parents’ Forum

April 26, 2008

School Choice in the news

Filed under: Charlestown,School Choice — Editor @ 9:43 am

Charlestown has floated the idea that they would run their own school for K-? and possibly utilized vouchers for high school aged kids. 

Foster is also looking at some choice options.



  1. Hmmmm, at $4500 to $5000 per student, that is a DEAL! Maybe we can get a full busload of Hopkinton students up there, if we have a voucher system? Then, we could send another busload to another school, and then another, until we would be DONE with CHARIHO. Up with CHOICE! DOWN with CHARIHO!

    Comment by Dorothy Gardiner — April 26, 2008 @ 12:54 pm | Reply

  2. Dorothy, but the Hopkinton members of the school committee and your town council don’t want to break up the district or don’t you remember that? Besides, you would then have to formally withdraw from the district and possibly pay money to the district that would now be just Charlestown and Richmond, which is just what we want! You couldn’t make us happier. Oh, by the way, while your paying tuition to these other school districts, you’ll have absolutely no say in anything that goes on in those school districts, you have no vote there. Please, do go though, I couldn’t be happier than to see Hopkinton out of the school district.

    Comment by CharihoParent — April 26, 2008 @ 1:24 pm | Reply

  3. Since we contribute based on enrollment, leaving the district may not be required to impliment a choice model.

    CP, you say, “Oh, by the way, while your paying tuition to these other school districts, you’ll have absolutely no say in anything that goes on in those school districts, you have no vote there.”

    I have no say in how Stop and Shop or Shaws is run – but I do influence managment by my purchasing decision. I much prefer that to the state run food distribution centers found around the world (remember the lines in Russia).

    Comment by Bill Felkner — April 26, 2008 @ 3:15 pm | Reply

  4. A voucher system would not mean the immediate end of CHARIHO, but rather place parents in a position to “pay with their feet”. If they want a better education for their child, they simply place the child (and their voucher money) into another school. THEN our CHARIHO count is down by one, then another, and another. (and so on, and so on) No need to withdraw, we would simply pay CHARIHO only for those who attend (remember we pay by student), and pay vouchers to other schools for those who do not attend CHARIHO. Sounds good to me!

    Comment by Dorothy Gardiner — April 26, 2008 @ 4:22 pm | Reply

  5. The Chariho towns are in a unique position because of the tax inequities. In a normal district with each taxpayer sharing an equal load for education the financial impact of a family choosing another school is shared equally by everyone. Because Chariho taxes by town and not taxpayer then Hopkinton reaps the full benefit of a family that chooses alternative schools.

    Chariho would still be in business even with a Hopkinton voucher system. Most families would probably cautiously leave their kids in Chariho until the braver families paved the way.

    Hopkinton should give choice serious consideration simply because it is best of families and the community, but Hopkinton has the added benefit of being in a school system with tax inequities. While this hurts our community when dealing with Chariho spending, it is a big help when dealing with vouchers.

    Comment by Real Question — April 26, 2008 @ 4:35 pm | Reply

  6. Im in Atlanta at the Atlas/Heritage/SPN Liberty Conference with representatives of think tanks from around the world and met with someone involved with the Edmonton choice model (see March 27 post). He said that the public schools in that area have put most of the private schools out of business because they reacted to the ‘voting feet’ and improved their service.

    Another interesting item I’ve learned is that it is possible to place a charter school on tribal land thus avoiding all those pesky state regulations and limitations – something that Charlestown might consider.

    Comment by Bill Felkner — April 26, 2008 @ 4:56 pm | Reply

  7. Imagine if after all these years of acrimony a charter school was able to bring Charlestown and the Narragansetts together?

    While all families benefit from parents picking schools, minority families gain the most from choice. I think it would be wonderful if the town AND the tribe became part of the education solution!

    Comment by Real Question — April 26, 2008 @ 5:11 pm | Reply

  8. Can’t the TOWN arrange a voucher system? Since we only pay by child, what is to prevent us from endorsing and providing a voucher system? There is no declaration in the CHARIHO ACT (Which the SC does not follow anyway) from prohibiting the establishment of a voucher system by a town. Then, we would still only pay per student at CHARIHO, and a pre set limit for vvouchers. Boy, that sure would be good for the budget!

    Off topic…isn’t it illegal to record telephone calls unless each party is aware the call is recorded?

    Comment by Dorothy Gardiner — April 26, 2008 @ 5:37 pm | Reply

  9. The tape recording question varies from state to state. Some states both parties need to be informed and in other states only one party needs to know.

    I would guess that when you leave a message on an answering machine or voicemail you are implicitly consenting to being taped. In other words who doesn’t know they are being recorded when they leave a message?

    Comment by Real Question — April 26, 2008 @ 6:07 pm | Reply

  10. R.I. Gen. Laws § 11-35-21: State law expressly allows the recording and disclosure of the contents of any wire, oral or electronic communication by a party to the communication or with the prior consent of one of the parties, so long as no criminal or tortious purpose exists.

    Under the statute, consent is not required for the taping of a non-electronic communication uttered by a person who does not have a reasonable expectation of privacy in that communication. See definition of “oral communication,” R.I. Gen. Laws § 12-5.1-1.

    Illegal recording, or disclosing with reason to know of the illegal recording, carries a criminal penalty of not more than five years in prison, but no penalty can be imposed if the contents of the intercepted communication have become “common knowledge or public information.” Civil liability is authorized for actual damages, $100 for each day of violation or $1,000 — whichever is greater. Punitive damages, attorney fees and litigation costs also are authorized. R.I. Gen. Laws § 12-5.1-13.

    The state’s highest court has expressly recognized that the law allows the recording of conversations with the consent of one party only. Pulawski v. Blais, 506 A.2d 76 (R.I. 1986). The Supreme Court of Rhode Island has stated that Rhode Island’s wiretapping laws should be interpreted more strictly than the federal wiretapping statute “in the interest of giving the full measure of protection to an individual’s privacy.” State v. O’Brien, 774 A.2d 89 (R.I. 2001).

    From what I can get out of the above web site is that according to R.I. General Law, both parties do not have to be aware that the conversation is being recorded, Massachusetts and Connecticute require that all parties must be aware though.

    Comment by CharihoParent — April 26, 2008 @ 6:07 pm | Reply

  11. But Bill, the Narragansetts don’t have tribal land, even though they claim they do, what they have is settlement lands which they agreed all aplicable state laws would still be in effect on them.

    Comment by CharihoParent — April 26, 2008 @ 6:08 pm | Reply

  12. So why does Hopkinton complain about paying per student to the district but paying in a “choice model” is OK? Makes absolutely no sense to me why it’s ok one way but another. Sounds like Hopkinton wants it cake and eat it, too.

    Comment by CharihoParent — April 26, 2008 @ 6:10 pm | Reply

  13. $8,000 a year difference and not being outvoted on budgets that have been shown to be faulted on many front and it makes no sense. I guess you ate Mr. Pini’s Cake and Ms. Brown who helped to sell it (the $2 Million cut and the cost of the redo vote for what was a $800,000 surplus or actually $2.8 Million).Keep eating the cake and drinking the Kool Aid. Are you really a parent? You have children? Ouch! I bet I know what kind of Brownies you eat.

    Comment by Phillip — April 26, 2008 @ 6:30 pm | Reply

  14. CHOICE, that is what a voucher system provides. Parents who want their children to remain in the CHARIHO system would be able to simply continue to do that. Parents who seek a different type of education would be able to apply their “voucher” to the cost of THEIR choice of education. YUP we most certainly COULD have our cake and eat it, too!

    The final and best part of this whole plan is that CHARIHO would (if they every get hold of their senses) WANT to excel, WANT to provide an education, not social services, WANT to be a competitive education CHOICE! NOW, wouldn’t THAT be grand??? “You pays your money, you gets your choice”. Sure seems good to me!

    OUT with the “social programs” OUT with investigative math, OUT with the “lets pay for good grades” OUT with no discipline, no expectations of excelence. IN with acceptable behavior. IN with appropriate dress. IN with homework and studies. IN with common sense. IN with an education geared to both college bound and non college bound students, so all will have a meaningful diploma, and if not college cbound, job skills to get them up and running and working in a skilled job. IN with MORE vocational education. IN with a diploma that makes a student and parents PROUD to be a CHARIHO grad! IN with the idea that all money spent on education is spent well!

    Comment by Dorothy Gardiner — April 26, 2008 @ 6:48 pm | Reply

  15. Hopkinton complains because are problems with Chariho go beyond the money issues. Tax equity is important to me because I want everyone voting on Chariho to do so on equal footing. Many Charlestown voters can shrug off Chariho bonds and budgets because it has much less impact on their families’ finances than it does for us in Hopkinton.

    Hopkinton complains because we pay a great deal to fund the school yet Chariho forces crap down our throats and we have little to say about it. From harmful math curriculum to lecture on the Dixie Chicks to sexual ed we are bombarded with things we don’t consider necessary or the responsibility of the school but we are forced to pay for it anyway.

    I’ve seen plenty of evidence that choice costs less but even if it costs exactly the same I much prefer myself and other parents deciding what education is best for their kids. Hopkinton isn’t a town full of sheep easily guided this way and that. We are independent and value personal liberties. We trust families over government to make life’s most important decisions.

    Comment by Real Question — April 26, 2008 @ 6:54 pm | Reply

  16. CP, you are correct. RI allows hidden recordings, although if you are talking about Bill Day’s tape, that was an answering machine. But I said the same thing to him when he called and have no intention of hiding my feeling about the subject. That’s why I asked him to tell me and the TV the “threats” I made – but he wouldn’t do it. He is a coward and I have no respect for him. Besides, it was not a threat – it was a promise.

    RE: tribal land. There was a Supreme Court case that allowed purchased land to become sovereign. There are a lot of people fighting it because the tribes have used it to open casinos – but if they used it to open schools they might find more public support.

    Comment by Bill Felkner — April 26, 2008 @ 7:00 pm | Reply

  17. Bill, I too have absolutely no respect for the overgrown weasal that goes by name of Bill Day.

    The problem is I doubt the Narragansetts would ever concede to using the land for schools, they would not see it as enough quick, easy for them. Also, the Supreme Court cases was for lands acquired after a tribe already had tribal lands and the land purchased was abutting the sovereign tribal lands.

    Comment by CharihoParent — April 26, 2008 @ 7:20 pm | Reply

  18. Philip, you’re not even worth answering. If you paid any attention at all, you’ll realize that I’ve said many times that I agree that there are problems at Chariho, so smarten up with your comments towards me. Also, if Hopkinton stays in the district, if there even is one, you would still be paying for each and every student that attended the schools.

    Dorothy, I think those are a lot of the things that Chariho does want but with all the arguing going on, the distractions take away from the desire. One more time I’ll say this, the problems are not as much with the administration as it is with the unions. Until we pay teachers and give them increases based on performance, not longevity we’ll continue to struggle with the educational performance in most of our public schools and that’s statewide. I don’t believe that any school administration wants to see their schools lagging behind in performance. I really do wish people would stop making the administration out to be the next evil empire and instead make positive steps towards make improvements in our school district. We’re not getting anywhere with any of this, probably what is happening is that this argueing makes it worse.

    Comment by CharihoParent — April 26, 2008 @ 7:33 pm | Reply

  19. CP not only makes assumptions about Hopkinton, but he also casts dispersion on the Narragansett tribe. Class act.

    Comment by Real Question — April 26, 2008 @ 7:37 pm | Reply

  20. The administration is responsible for curriculum. We get constructivist math.

    The administration is responsible for RYSE. We get fuzzy numbers, my way or the highway programs, and no real measure of performance.

    The administration is responsible for working with the SC on contract. We get shafted again.

    The administration is responsible for budgeting. We gets confusing budgets which hide the size of huge surpluses.

    The administration is responsible for budgeting maintenance of schools. We get the 1904 building and elementary schools where little is done. We get bond proposals for millions in repairs which should have been taken care of in operation budgets.

    The administration is the biggest problem. I’m no fan of teacher unions, but at least their mission is to serve the employees and they do it. The administration is supposed to protect the interest of the community and the kids. They suck.

    Comment by Real Question — April 26, 2008 @ 7:46 pm | Reply

  21. CP, you are right about Day, maybe right about Charlestown and the Narragansetts (although politically its a no-brainer) but I don’t think you are right about the case.

    I also agree with your comments on the unions but not the admin. I’ve been on several boards and dealt with many CEO’s. The Chariho admin is obstructionist and does not give its full faith effort to provide information. One example is the K-6 issue – they have known for almost a decade that the parents want it and the research supporting those models is strong. If Ricci was told his job depended on finding a way to create K-6 it would have been done by now – and it wouldn’t take $100mm.

    Comment by Bill Felkner — April 26, 2008 @ 8:59 pm | Reply

  22. CP,

    Lets get vouchers and if Chariho is Shan Gri La, stay, if not, you have options. Is that doable?. I share your frustration and can see it in some of your comments. Wouldn’t you like a voucher to stay and if you didn’t like what was going on, a voucher to go some other district better suited for your young people? I think the folks upstate like the tri towns fighting amongst each other to deflect the criticism against them and the tri towns using FELKNER as the lightning rod. Felkner has children (I’m guessing) as does the other tri town parents who want the best for his/her children as you, Chariho Parent want the best for yours.

    Wanting the best for your children like Felkner does for his (if he has them, ones guess he does), holds him out as a non player in the process (?) to a union game (frivilous lawsuit dismissed as noted on this site) that makes the tri towns waste thousands of dollars that could be spend on the children. It’s time to push the ball collectively (tri towns) uphill against those that have exploited the children for their gain (the administration) and use the teachers as an excuse.

    The financial divide is HUGE and not to be and won’t be ignored. A 50 year divide no one has wanted to deal with.

    CP, some times I’m with you and some time not. Stay with us, you have much to offer either way. More facts, websites etc would be great to back your arguements.

    In closing from reading this site which is a blessing to the Tri Towns, FELKNER is a friend of Education (all education for children of all the tri towns) and a disappointment to the ‘Play Ball’ with us and work with us (to destroy your community) through taxes which has gotten Rhode Islanders leading the country in Residents leaving their home state. Michigan second.
    Something to be proud of, not!!!!!!!!!!!

    I think there is more in common among the tri towns than not. The devisiveness is making those ‘alleged’ to be in charged (administration) and is providing them a free pass.

    CP, Do we agree on that for a starting point?

    Comment by Question Mark — April 26, 2008 @ 10:06 pm | Reply

  23. RQ, when you say that the administration is responsible for all that, are you including the school committee in that? I don’t believe any of those things could have been done without approval from the school committee, what were the votes for each individual on those items? If my memory serves me correctly, RYSE came about because the towns wanted to cut down on transportation costs and sending the students out of district for it. The problem again isn’t where you’re putting it, the problem is often more the school committee. I hope Bill Day looses his seat and if Andy Poluski is up for re-election, he does also. Is George Abbott up for re-election, too? Is so, I hope he looses his seat as well, they all have been on the school committee too long.

    Comment by CharihoParent — April 27, 2008 @ 7:30 am | Reply

  24. Bill, isn’t it the school committee that should be doing that? I don’t hear the school committe forcing the issue with Barry Ricci. If the school committee agreed on the issue then he would be forced do set up the K-6 elementary. I don’t recall what was on the survey though, did all three towns agree to the K-6 model or was it only Hopkinton that wanted it? The biggest problem is that neither Charlestown or Richmond have room for 5th and 6th grades at their current elementary schools, which I’m sure you’re well aware of. I don’t think either town wants modular trailers at their school either and Richmond certainly has no room on the campus for them. I’m not sure of the size of the campus for Charlestown and if they would have room for the trailers as well.

    Comment by CharihoParent — April 27, 2008 @ 7:35 am | Reply

  25. QM, I agree with some of your points, not all. Bill Felkner could be a wonderful adversary and asset to the school committe if only he changed his tactics and methods. I know when someone is an antagonist towards me, my mind shuts down when I hear them. If Bill could only stop being such and antagonist and we got rid of at least three of the dead wood pieces on the school committee, we could begin to make progress. The power of the administration begins with the school committee, if we can get the school committee to begin to work towards towards reform, then the administration would be forced into taking more steps towards reform. The administration isn’t the enemy that so many make them out to be.

    Comment by CharihoParent — April 27, 2008 @ 7:42 am | Reply

  26. RQ, one of my biggest gripes this past budget cycle was the budget preparation and what we were given to review. I wanted to see budget vs. actual, in fact it was brough up by Deb Carney at the public hearing. Did anyone notice the blank faces on the entire school committee on that issue? If the school committee directed the administration to present the budget in such a manner they would have had to do it. I brought up the issue to one school committee member from Richmond and got back a very insufficient answer. Again, the problem stems from the school committee for lack of action.

    Comment by CharihoParent — April 27, 2008 @ 7:47 am | Reply

  27. School committees present and past have been rotten. They are not professional. The members weren’t trained to run schools in most instances. I like this in many respects but they can be taken advantage of by manipulative administrations. Sometimes SC member participate in the manipulation a la Stephanie Brown. Other times they are too dumb to know what is going on a la Bill Day.

    At the end of the day the blame falls many places. All I know is Chariho dysfunctionally operates and putting millions more into the school prior to correcting the problems means wasting millions more. Many local families can’t afford the waste. Neither can their kids afford the subpar education.

    Bill Felkner should be congratulated for being the first SC member to publically demand a Chariho administration focus on the community and not on the employees. His message hasn’t gone over very well I grant you, but we don’t need Bill to stop advocating for us, we need more SC members to join him.

    If history holds then open SC position will find few people stepping forward. I hope we get more choice from now on. I’ll be looking for candidates who agree with Bill F. Maybe when the entire SC cares as much as Bill we won’t have any “antagonism” AND we’ll finally get a school system which does its job at a reasonable cost. One thing we know for sure, a SC full of Felkners won’t be manipulated by any administrations.

    Comment by Real Question — April 27, 2008 @ 10:56 am | Reply

  28. RQ, Deb Jennings hasn’t been trained to be a school committee person but at least she’s made some attempts at getting rid of the crappy “investigative” math that is in the school system. One doesn’t have to be trainned, one has to have the will to learn and research and, of course, some time available to do the job right. I would dearly love to run for school committee but unfortunatly I don’t have the time to devote that I feel needs to be devoted to being on the school committee. I would not do justice to the position that I feels it deserves.

    Comment by CharihoParent — April 27, 2008 @ 1:03 pm | Reply

  29. You missed my point. I don’t believe SC members should be trained. But they need to be astute and pay attention. They need to guard against manipulation. Ricci is Chariho’s Jim Henson.

    As for constructivist math, the SC shouldn’t have allowed it in the school in the first place, but at least they can claim ignorance of math. Pini, Ricci, and the administration should have known better.

    I realize that many good SC candidates lead busy lives and don’t run because of the time commitment. I’m at the point I’d rather have board members who miss half the meetings but stand up for the community before clowns who make every meeting but vote like a bunch of sheep and let the inmates run the asylum.

    If a Hopkinton candidate steps forward and tells me they will work with Bill Felkner but will have to miss meetings, I will vote for this candidate before Pruehs or Petit. Preuhs is such a dud that when he misses meetings he does us a favor because he almost always votes with the sheep. Petit has a little more fight in him but he usually is a sheep and he has betrayed Hopkinton families by publically trying to demean the only SC member to consistently call for Chariho reforms.

    Go ahead and run CP. I don’t think your viewpoint would carry the day in Hopkinton, but maybe in Richmond you’re singing their song and they’ll elect you even if you can’t make every meeting?

    Comment by Real Question — April 27, 2008 @ 2:21 pm | Reply

  30. Just a bit of info. The idea about budgets showing actuals with budgeted figures was recommended to Mr. Ricci by Tom just after the new year. Mr. Ricci said that he would take it up with the chairman. After about 2 weeks and their slow response, the issue finally came to the school committee. They decided at that time, which I believe was about a week before the last workshop, that it was too late in this year’s budget process.

    If Mrs. Carney, who I had the blessing to meet and who I find one of the most intelligent people in the tritown area, had suggested it, as well, the school committee was probably shocked that a representative from Hopkinton and Charlestown actually agreed. They probably should have been treated for shock.

    Mrs. Carney is a gem. And Charlestown is blessed to have her. Thanks to her and her familiarity with the Chariho Act, the December fiasco with the Act came to light. I appreciate her alertness.

    The Charlestown Options Study Committee recommended in 2003 when Charlestown was looking to withdraw that neighborhood schools were what the community wanted. They had recommended K-5,6 or even K-8 schools. They are further ahead than anyone on this matter.

    The surveys suggested this with all 3 communities in agreement. So, instead of making more classrooms in the high school, one should consider that this is not in line with the opinions of the taxpayers in the tritown area.

    Comment by Lois Buck — April 27, 2008 @ 4:38 pm | Reply

  31. Real Question if I decide to run again. Do me a favor don’t vote for me. If you call professionalism acting like some of you have on this blog the last few days than I don’t need your votes. I think some of you should take a lesson from the students in our district because most act more mature than what I see here. The name calling is out of control, you might not agree with someone but to threaten them and call them names…..professionalism? Where?

    Bill Felkener did you post those post in here about Bill Day? When are we ging to talk about EDUCATING our students and stop all this nonsense that is going on?

    Comment by bob petit — April 27, 2008 @ 6:49 pm | Reply

  32. Lois,
    The last report from Charlestown that I have from the “Charlestown Interim School Committee, Charlestown School District Plan, An Overview of Academics, Facilities and Financee” dated May 17, 2004 states the following:

    Building 1 – Grades pre-K through 4 (500 student capacity)
    Current elemtary school with minor renovations to include the addition of 5 classrooms, tutorial areas for full and part-time specialists, expansion of the media center and a new well.

    Building 2 – Grades 5-8 (400 student capacity and 9-12 (400 student capacity) with shared core facitilites separating two school wings.

    The Middle School would house grades 5-8 and be kept completely seperate from grades 9-12 section of the building through shared core facilities

    Shared core facilities would include library/media center, gymnasium, cafeteria and superintendent and staff offices

    High school portion of the building would include grades 9-12

    So you see, Charlestown did not go along with the pre-K through 6 model that you propose. The $99 million bond proposal was close to what Hopkinton wanted, yet was rejected. Part 1 was 3 new Pre-K through 2 schools, upgrade 3 exisiting schools for grades 3 through 5. Richmond’s Education Advisory Committee also proposed the same thing, Pre-K through 2 for a Lower Elementary School, which would have required building a new facility, and then renovating the existing elementary school for grades 3 through 5.

    As for the budget vs actuals, why didn’t Bill Felkner bring up this issue many months ago? This is his second time around on the budget, shouldn’t he have been well aware of this?

    Comment by CharihoParent — April 27, 2008 @ 7:06 pm | Reply

  33. Is post #31 actually Bob Petit? It really doesn’t sound like him.

    Comment by CharihoParent — April 27, 2008 @ 7:21 pm | Reply

  34. RQ, in regards to your post #19, who makes more assumptions about people that they don’t even know besides you? Who stoops so slow as to throw mud at anyone who disagrees with your point of view than you? I’d be careful about the accusations you make about people, they just may come back to smack you across the face. The way you go about talking about people you don’t know sure does make it look like you anger management problem similar to Mr. Mageau over in Charlestown or Mr. Matson in Hopkinton. And what I said about the Narragansetts, well, even your own Bill Felkner agreed with my assessment of them agreeing to a school on settlement lands, so I guess it isn’t only me that senses that. RQ, here’s another little tidbit for you, I do have Native American heritage in me so don’t go saying that I’m a racist toward Native Americans, I just call it as I see it. Once again, you love make accusations without having the facts.

    Comment by CharihoParent — April 27, 2008 @ 8:31 pm | Reply

  35. Sorry, a little off on my dates, but I took a snippet from the following report that states their opinion regarding the issue of elementary configuration. From the:

    School Options Study Committee


    Submitted 10/2/06

    Accepted by the Charlestown Town Council October 10, 2006

    “…The heart of the issue of the elementary school facilities is the desire of the parents for “neighborhood schools” with pupils staying in town schools for as many grades as possible… Additionally, we recommend evaluating a change to a K-5, K-6, or K-8 educational model.”

    Comment by Lois Buck — April 27, 2008 @ 9:20 pm | Reply

  36. Those on the committee: Perry Boyle, Giancarlo Cicchetti, Christine Clarkin, Holly Eaves, Tom Gilligan, James Liguori, Joseph Nadeau, Phyllis Penhallow, and Joseph Ungaro

    Comment by Lois Buck — April 27, 2008 @ 9:21 pm | Reply

  37. Couldn’t any of the others on the school committee come up with the idea regarding the budget? They have been on it the same amount of time and some more than Mr. Felkner.

    Comment by Lois Buck — April 27, 2008 @ 9:25 pm | Reply

  38. A derivative of the old “I have friends who are indians” excuse, LOL. Without talking to one tribal member CharihoParent you doubt they would support a school on their property because it’s not quick and easy? You can defend the comment, but I gotta say it wasn’t very nice. Is it a racist statement? I don’t know your motivation but I do find it disturbing.

    Bob Petit should worry less about voters and more about Chariho management. Sticks and stones may break your bones but words will never hurt you. Wise advice. If everyone on the school board could direct their anger toward outrageous contracts and incompetent management they might eventually turn this thing around.

    Comment by Truth or Consequences — April 27, 2008 @ 11:25 pm | Reply

  39. Post #20 is a good list of Chariho management’s role in bringing Chariho to the verge of falling apart. I too will be looking for and hoping for school board candidates who aren’t manipulated by the managment. According to Scott Hirst, Pruehs seat will be open for the next election. Pruehs hasn’t shown any desire to oversee Chariho’s management. Maybe Capalbo, Buck or Thompson can leave the town council and run for the school board? Whoever comes forward I hope they are honest with us and tell us if they plan on being a sheep or a shepherd?

    Comment by Truth or Consequences — April 27, 2008 @ 11:35 pm | Reply

  40. TorC, you know the saying, truth hurts, sorry if I stepped on anyone’s toes but that’s exactly how I see it. Don’t like it, too darn bad for you. It’s OK for Hopkintonians to call the citizens of Richmond “morons” which is really not very nice and I forget what you Hopkintonians call the citizens of Charlestown, but it’s not OK for me to call it as I see it. Talk about double standards of which some Hopkintonians are much worse offenders yet are cited for on the blogs. I least I didn’t hurl any insults at anyone, much unlike some Hopkintonians.

    Comment by CharihoParent — April 28, 2008 @ 2:52 am | Reply

  41. Lois,
    I was at the Omnibus Meeting, Deb Carney was sitting right near me. She also said there isn’t any room at the current Charlestown Elementary School to bring 5th and 6th grades as Hopkinton wants to do. Richmond is in the same boat, lack of room. Hopkinton’s situation is a little different because you have two schools that can be used already without any additional new construction unless a few rooms need to be added to one or both of the existing buildings. That’s the difference between the three towns. Isn’t it better that all 5th and 6th graders get the same lesson rather than Hopkinton’s students having had something maybe a little different for two years?

    As for “neighborhood schools”, correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t that referring to the students staying in the town as opposed to being tuitioned out to schools in other districts?

    Comment by CharihoParent — April 28, 2008 @ 3:07 am | Reply


    From the above article:

    Mirroring the 2004 plan, the first phase would entail renovation of the existing elementary school to house pre-kindergarten through fourth-grade students and building a fifth- to eighth-grade middle school followed by the construction of a high school in phase two.

    I guess the report I cited from is a more accurate portrait of what Charlestown prefers. In regards to the voucher idea, not sute but it seems like that would only be given until the high school would be completed.

    Comment by CharihoParent — April 28, 2008 @ 3:16 am | Reply

  43. TC not directing anger towards anyone. What I am saying is this is School Committee and we need to get back to education. If you think this is constructive than we totaly disagree. Doesn’t matter who runs for the town as soon as they don’t agree on one thing with some people they too will be called names. I am sure that makes people want to come out and run. frankly I don’t care what you call me. I don’t agree with the threats and names that are thrown out there. This has NOTHING to do with education. If it makes people feel better to throw names around than go for it but it makes those people look immature in my eyes and also drives away people from coming here to blog as they just don’t need the bull. You might not agree or even like a person on the School committee but this is totaly disrespectful and I hope you teach your children better than that.

    Lois thanks again for your in put and the information.

    Comment by bpetit — April 28, 2008 @ 8:16 am | Reply

  44. I also had an opportunity to talk with Deb Carney. She also informed me that the town owns some land that could indeed be used to build a school. The town has shown interest in withdrawal or partial withdrawal. Nothing is stopping any of the towns regarding construction on their own schools or building on lands that they own.

    I also heard that the land next to Richmond is for sale. If this is true, this could be an opportunity for Richmond. If available, it may not be buildable for a school, but it would be available for recreation field, whereas the current recreation field could be utilized for construction. Also, does Richmond own land? Perhaps, this is an option regarding building a new school. If you don’t, encourage them to purchase some.

    Nothing is stopping the 3 towns from addressing their overcrowding issues. We want the best for our kids. If the issue is that more than 70% of the surveyed individuals in all 3 towns believe that neighborhood schools are in the best interest of our children and if the administration refuses to do anything about it. Then it is really up to the towns to make it happen.

    Charlestown is willing to fund towards new schools. Richmond is showing willingness to approve anything under the sun. Hopkinton has seen the need for neighborhood schools. Why isn’t this our goal?

    In the meanwhile, keep applying budgeted money towards the high school. Over a period of years, the repairs will get done. In the meanwhile, each town should look into their K-6 issues.

    As a last point, nothing is stopping the towns to cross town lines to utilize Hopkinton schools. This is a potential option, and there are many.

    Comment by Lois Buck — April 28, 2008 @ 8:17 am | Reply

  45. CharihoParent you indicted the entire tribe of Narragansetts without them making one statement on building a school on their land. Richmond voters have been called morons for supporting every single spending proposals at Chariho. You may think this makes Richmond voters geniuses or complete idiots but at least the opinion is based on their actions regarding Chariho. Why do you think the Narragansetts would reject a school because it isn’t quick and easy? Have they ever said anything about a school?

    Bob Petit I teach my children lots of lessons. I tell them it is okay to be intolerant of people who behave badly. My children are not to tolerate drug addicts, criminals, bullies, etc. I teach my children not to steal. I teach them not to expect other people to pay for their mistakes.

    I don’t blame anyone here who gets angry with Chariho. I don’t blame people for being disgusted by angry attacks on Bill Felkner while misbehavior by Chariho administration is rewarded with revolving contracts and above average raises. I think it is healthy for the community to have a place to vent and express its frustration. It’s been a long time coming.

    Comment by Truth or Consequences — April 28, 2008 @ 9:30 am | Reply

  46. All three towns have expressed at least an interest in K-6. The school board and administration have not made any effort to look into the possibilities. They ran a survey. Got results they didn’t like. And pretended nothing was said. But every time we sneeze the Chariho adults are pushing for another bond vote. RYSE was conjured up out of thin air yet K-6 was ignored. Academics pushed communities to put in middle schools. Many educators refuse to admit the mistake of middle schools and fix it.

    Like most things at Chariho the middle school versus K-6 decision are based on what the adult employees want,not based on what the community wants and the children need. Is it any wonder the community is disgusted with the school board and Chariho?

    Comment by Truth or Consequences — April 28, 2008 @ 9:38 am | Reply

  47. Hi!
    My understanding Mr. Preuhs, a Republican, will possibly/probably not run because of his employment which concerns the federal government which restricts partisan political activity. That ban prevents Giancarlo Cichetti for running. How that ban can be gotten around is if they were elected as a write-in or in a non partisan election. Even today, I don’t know Mr. Preuhs.
    As I understand the regulations you can quit your federal job to run which obviously would not make sense or you can hold a town board or commission appointment that is appointed or one that is elected on a non partisan basis.
    One area of accountability is the local town committees of the two political parties. Candidates are elected as nominees of political parties who officially endorse them. While the parties certainly cannot control their votes and actions, their town committees can withold their endorsements. Party Chairs in Hopkinton are Ken Mott, Republican and Vinnie Cordone, Democrat.

    Comment by Scott Bill Hirst — April 28, 2008 @ 10:33 am | Reply

  48. Hi!
    I had two votes (Buck and Capalbo) on the Hopkinton Town Council last year but didn’t have a third to get the school committee to replace Lois Russell. I am NOT bitter. However, I don’t think it could be debated that I would have sided with Bill Felkner more often than Mr. Preuhs.I think I would have been a good school committee member.
    Whatever philosophy one has we need people who do ask questions, want to maximize resources for benefit of students and taxpayers, and are committed to education even if it is against the agendas of others.

    Comment by Scott Bill Hirst — April 28, 2008 @ 12:50 pm | Reply

  49. Lois,
    Georgia Ure has tried pushing the town of Richmond into buying the land next to the Richmond Elementary School but that land would be unusable since a lot of it is wetland so the town wouldn’t be able to do much with it. It’s really unfit for town use.

    Comment by CharihoParent — April 28, 2008 @ 1:21 pm | Reply

  50. TorC, if you don’t like what I have to say and you can’t even try to grasp onto, at least in the some small way, then please ignore my posts. At least with Lois Buck, I can carry on some semblence of a debate. Your method of attack does nothing except show every who the moronic idiot is and it sure isn’t me. You love to point fingers at everyone else put remember this, when you point a finger at someone else, 3 other fingers are pointing back at you. So, if you can discuss things in a rational way, the keep your comments about me to yourself. As for disgust with Chariho, that sentiment mostly comes from Hopkinton. The citizens of the other two towns are not nearly as disguted with Chariho as they are with Hopkinton. What I was trying to say about the Narrgansetts was that it wouldn’t bring in nearly as much money as a casino would, nor as easily as a casino. If you find problems with that statement, too bad, it’s my opinion, and I’m entitled to have such an opinion. Can you prove my assessment of that wrong?

    Comment by CharihoParent — April 28, 2008 @ 1:29 pm | Reply

  51. Let me try this one again:

    TorC, if you don’t like what I have to say and you can’t even try to grasp onto it, at least in some small way, then please ignore my posts. At least with Lois Buck, I can carry on some semblence of a debate. Your method of attack does nothing except show everyone who the moronic idiot is and it sure isn’t me. You love to point fingers at everyone else put remember this, when you point a finger at someone else, 3 other fingers are pointing back at you. So, if you can’t discuss things in a rational way, then keep your comments about me to yourself.

    As for disgust with Chariho, that sentiment mostly comes from Hopkinton. The citizens of the other two towns are not nearly as disguted with Chariho as they are with Hopkinton.

    What I was trying to say about the Narrgansetts was that it wouldn’t bring in nearly as much money as a casino would, nor as easily as a casino. If you find problems with that statement, too bad, it’s my opinion, and I’m entitled to have such an opinion. Can you prove my assessment of that wrong?

    Comment by CharihoParent — April 28, 2008 @ 1:32 pm | Reply

  52. Hi!
    While it is great to have ideas you need people and money and other resources to implement them. It is no secret that there is a shortage of manpower in our towns. In Hopkinton alone numerous boards go unfilled.
    In addition to people serving, will they do research or consider options other than the norm? Many school committee members tend to be cheerleaders for the adminstration or school establishment. By nature of PTO groups tend to support the school establishment and don’t question it.
    School vouchers to private schools put union jobs in jeopardy. I do undertand school unions haven’t objected to school choice to other public (and unionized) schools.

    Comment by Scott Bill Hirst — April 28, 2008 @ 1:37 pm | Reply

  53. Yes CP you are entitled to have a racist opinion. We are also allowed our opinion about what you say. When you ascribe negative intent to a group of people who’ve made no comment one way or the other then good luck getting me or anyone else to ignore your racism. TQ is right. When I call Richmond voters morons I make this statement based on their willingness to accept every Chariho spending proposal put before them. You may find this a sign of brilliance but I disagree. At least I base my opinion on a fact. The Narragansetts have not voted or said anything on the matter of a school on their lands. If you have knowledge otherwise please tell us. If not, then I find your comment hateful and apparently I’m not alone.

    Comment by Real Question — April 28, 2008 @ 2:01 pm | Reply

  54. Lois,
    I’m not sure if that is really BOb or not. I don’t have time to track ISP’s every time. But if that poster really believes I’m not doing enough on “education” then whoever it is isn’t very perceptive. Please show me someone else who puts more time and money into research on our kids education. Math, NAEP/NECAP scores, cultural issues, ELS,… I just signed another contract with a PhD today to pay him $1800 for a paper on test efficacy. I was not hired to do this work – I thought it was work that needed to be done so I created a business to do it. So please show me someone who does more than me (here at CSPF) and my organization (OSPRI).

    Like I said, I don’t know if it is Bob or not. We have seen Andy McQuaude post under someone elses name before so I suppose it could happen again. Who ever it is I would just ask, “What have you done?” – what research have you done or do you just accept what the administration tells you. How many times have you been to the Dept of Ed, the governor’s policy office or testified to legislators? Bob knows this stuff and what I do. it probably wasnt him.

    Comment by Bill Felkner — April 28, 2008 @ 2:08 pm | Reply

  55. Charihoparent, how big is the property? Is it suitable for recreation fields and nature walks? Is there a pond? Is the land on that property that wet, or is a great majority of it dry?

    I’ve done a great deal of research on the K-6 model. It is my opinion that it is in the best interest for our children to be in neighborhood schools. I concur with the Charlestown assessment.

    I understand it is a tougher scenario for Richmond and Charlestown as your schools are extremely limited. Charlestown does have the land next door, but that has ledge problems.

    I went on a little tour on Saturday. I visited Hope Valley School to walk the grounds to get a feel of the area. The Hopkinton schools have a much greater capacity for expansion, that is obvious. There is great potential with these two schools.

    I personally believe that it is in the best interest of the 3 towns to seriously examine the K-6 configuration. To date because of limitations, the school committee is unwilling or unable to convert to this. (They came up with the 99 million plan that would have killed us all financially, removed the HV school from a useful asset to a waste of space, severely limited what could have been built at exit 1, and we would have 4 transitions for our kids instead of 3. That was not the direction that appeared to me to be in the best interest of Hopkintonians.) It is inevitably left up to the towns to make it happen. Two towns are in agreement here. I hope Richmond will join in this, and perhaps if we make this one of our common goals, the situation regarding overcrowding at the high school will be alleviated.

    Just an observation, when and if the regional bonus is removed as this seems to be guaranteed, the benefit for remaining fully regionalized is no longer there. This may be a good thing for the 3 towns. I will make my feelings clear, I do not want to deregionalize. I think we have a lot to offer people as a whole, but the reality of the situation will have to dictate our direction. If expanding the Hopkinton Schools and redrawing lines to bring kids here can help the other issues, then I am for it. But, if Richmond and Charlestown are not interested in that, then perhaps, the worst case is inevitable. I sincerely hope I am wrong.

    Comment by Lois Buck — April 28, 2008 @ 2:09 pm | Reply

  56. Lois,
    It’s very difficult to tell exactly what is on that property since it is very much over grown. I will tell you this, I’ve spoken to council members about acquiring that piece of property and the town is not interested for two reasons, they feel it’s overpriced and too unusable. It’s too close to the Meadow Brook for one thing, DEM would give the anyone a difficult time using that land for much of anything.

    Comment by CharihoParent — April 28, 2008 @ 2:42 pm | Reply

  57. RQ,
    If you don’t like it, too bad for you, too. I don’t find the statement in any way racists. Even Bill Felkner tends to agree with the assessment. I didn’t say anything degrading about the Narragansetts, just said that a charter school would not bring in the kind of money they are looking for and in no way would it be as easy as a casino. If you find that racists, then you’re the moron, not me. I in no way called down the Narragansetts, it is you and TorC that are trying to make an issue out of nothing. You’re both showing you level on non-intelligence since you would rather demean people then debate them, seems like that is all the two of you are interested in. If you can’t talk about isssues, try to come up with some reasonable solutions like Lois is at least trying to do, then you really need to keep your mouth shut or at least ignore me.

    Comment by CharihoParent — April 28, 2008 @ 2:48 pm | Reply

  58. Your comment was said if it wasn’t quick or easy the Narragansetts wouldn’t be interested. You threw in the other stuff later. Unless you are a spokesman for the Narragansett than I find your original statement deplorable. I won’t ignore it. I’m not always happy with the decisions and behaviors of many of the Narragansett tribe and their leadership but I wouldn’t assume they would reject any project which isn’t quick and easy. I would hope you would recant your original hateful statement but somehow I doubt you have the character.

    Comment by Real Question — April 28, 2008 @ 3:03 pm | Reply

  59. RQ, why don’t you just shut up and try debating the real issues instead of your poor pathetic attempts at causing trouble. That’s about all you’re good for, it’s because of people like you that there’s problems in the district. You want to find something to argue about and cause distractions then trying to sit down and find solutions. I’m sure you’ve noticed many times I leave some words out of sentences since I think faster than I type, especially since I have trouble with my wrists. You’re trying to make a mountain out of mole hill. You don’t know what thoughts were in my head when I wrote that and any attempt on your part to think you do is totally pathetic on your part. As usual, you go after people without knowing anything, who’s the one continually showing themselves to be the moron? (Once again, it isn’t me) Heck, you’re foolish enough to actually think it was Bob Petit that made some of the postings in this section and are ready to jump all over him with knowing for sure. I raised the flag when I saw that post but yet you want to believe it’s Bob. How sad is that? I’ve seen Bob’s posts, that really doesn’t sound like something he would post. So, no I won’t retrack my statement since it was said without malice. You’re the deplorable, dispecable one around here. Get back to the real issues at hand.

    Comment by CharihoParent — April 28, 2008 @ 3:39 pm | Reply

  60. Back to post 51 I will comment here as I wish. I understand why CP is so defensive about his comments but too bad. I don’t really care what he’s says, even racist nonsense, but if he says it I’ll probably comment on it.

    If Richmond and Charlestown aren’t disgusted with Chariho’s performance and costs then Hopkinton will be lucky if they leave.

    CP you are a good example of what is wrong with Chariho. Every idea presented is a bad one to you. Every person trying to change things is adversarial. You preface every defense you make for Chariho with some nonsense about how you’re not happy with Chariho either, but you offer no solutions. Even your blame of the unions is done without any suggestions of how to deal with the unions.

    I’ve tried to be gentler than others but you attack relentlessly. You’re a rabblerouser. You’re also immature. I wonder if you’re a kid and not an adult? Do you like anything or anybody? Maybe you come here as a hobby?

    Comment by Truth or Consequences — April 28, 2008 @ 4:00 pm | Reply

  61. Hi!
    The real issue, Truth or Consequences, is is tough to motivate people with their busy lives to take an interest of politics or they may have other reasons.
    The officials who are elected have not really bothered for the most part to address the issues regardless of what the public does. The local elected officials with some exceptions the Hopkinton Town Council and to some degree the Charlestown Town Council on school issues and the future. The Richmond Town Council is NOT impressive on this matter and neither is the Chariho School Committee.
    What is needed is a GROUP of committed individuals who are willing to find solutions and demand accountability. Bill Felkner and George Abbott and some others should not have to do it alone.
    Caring about students and taxpayers/citizens should include demanding accountability and the effectivenes of doing justice for both.
    I like Bill Felkner because he is smart, tough, and cares. George Abbott deserves to be given more credit. I like Giancarlo Cichetti too. I do not necessarily agree with all their votes/actions but they bring something extra to the school committee table. I do not necessarily agree with Bob Petit and disappointed he did not push for a management study in this recently adopted budget for next year but he participates in this forum and was the only school committee member that attended the Hopkinton Town Council meeting a week ago tonight.

    Comment by Scott Bill Hirst — April 28, 2008 @ 4:35 pm | Reply

  62. Chariho is a very devisive topic. Primarily because suggestions – like K-6, bring the kids home; give us financial actuals and budgeted amounts when discussing the new year budget – are not just effectively but definatively ignored.

    The school committee is ‘looking into’ giving us actuals and budgets next year. The problem will be a new accounting system where apples are not with oranges. I personally don’t care – give us actuals for the prior year and explain the merging or separations created in the new system when budget time comes round. We are literate and intelligent and can understand the issues.

    Next year is also the first time we will have the prior year actual general fund bottom line (for the budget season) because the surplus is based precisely on this number. Does not include capital expenses.

    AS far as K-6 is concerned. Lois is right we can, in Hopkinton, do this more easily by renovating our two schools (and other town’s children are welcome to join us as we have space). Charlestown has the ability to renovate or build and they are at least addressing the issue and trying to resolve it for their students; Richmond has to begin addressing the problem – which they are not doing, something like ignoring the water problem at Richmond Elementary school for over 10 years now – I believe they simply wait for the district to solve a town issue. If we take our 5th and 6th back to the towns (Charlestown and Hopkinton) Richmond’s 5th and 6th can stay in a wing at the middle school and still have a wing for ALP and RYSE. We – Hopkinton and Charlestown – can also bill them for the use of the wing.

    I know everyone gets angry, but keep the debate going. It’s the only way we will get the changes our children need.

    Comment by BarbaraC — April 28, 2008 @ 4:58 pm | Reply

  63. The people you name Scott have one thing in common. Except for Giancarlo they are all from Hopkinton. Bob Petit gets mad at us on this website but yes he at least interacts with the public before ignoring us.

    I agree that time is a huge problem in finding candidates with no agenda. Most of us work and are raising families. It’s tough to prioritize town committees. On the other hand if you or your family stands to financially benefit from being involved in local politics then it might justify running for school board. Somebody like Bill Day is working hard to increase his wife and his son’s salaries. I’m sure it is worth the time he puts into it.

    The other people who have time are those not working or working part time. They may lack an understanding of what it is like to work hard only to see your hard earned money thrown down the drain by Chariho.

    Maybe senior citizens would be good? They often have fixed incomes and they come from a generation where school was about teaching and not all this other stuff we now pay for. Getting decent school board members is an issue. Maybe Bill Felkner’s example will inspire others to give it a try?

    Comment by Truth or Consequences — April 28, 2008 @ 5:08 pm | Reply

  64. TorC, it’s people like that’s the problem, not me. You only think one way, don’t want to hear anything. You have a closed mind and it’s not open to anything else but what you see. If it isn’t your idea, it’s a bad idea. I get it now. At least with Lois Buck and some others there is some give and take but not with the likes of you or RQ.

    I didn’t say we don’t have problems with Chariho, reread it, it says that the citizens are NOT NEARLY as disgusted with Chariho as we are with Hopkinton, people like you. There’s a difference. You interpret things the way you want to interpret, not what is really being said. You’re a vile, disgusting person, you want to twist other people’s words when there really is no need of it. You’re not interested in coming up with solutions, you just want to cause problems. As long as people like you are the vocals ones from Hopkinton, nothing much will change except that there is better chance of there being no more Chariho School District because of your closed minded.

    Comment by CharihoParent — April 28, 2008 @ 6:13 pm | Reply

  65. TorC,

    You are right, a number of school board members still have children in the school system which is both an advantage but also a distinct disadvantage as well. I own and run my own full-time business but I ran for council because all my children were finished with school and out of the house. It gives a good perspective on time, finances and abilities. I never would have had time before then.

    I firmly believe that most parents active in their children’s lives – church, school, sports, arts, clubs, lessons – usually give us their advice and concerns and, reasonably, expect us to work with that information. Families do come first and most parents work full-time and raise children full-time and still volunteer as well.

    This and other blogs let people vent, discuss, debate, argue. Town committee’s need help and they are often only once a month. Those are great places to try and make a difference in your neighborhood.

    I also believe that most people appreciate the passionate discourse here – and the price everyone pays is anger on occasion for points or issues well or poorly made.

    Comment by BarbaraC — April 28, 2008 @ 6:27 pm | Reply

  66. I’ll be sad to see Chariho go, but if the choice is between accepting what we have now or no Chariho, then we should choose the latter. If CP is an example of the best Richmond has to bring to the table, then it is hopeless. Notice how when Hopkinton loses the budget vote we express our frustration but move on quickly to try again next time to make the voters see sense?

    I’m for school choice. With choice much of the anger on all sides will disappear. Parents will have nothing to be angry about if they get to choose the best school for their children.

    I’m with you Barbara. I appreciate the the opportunity presented by Bill Felkner to be heard here. I don’t care if CP makes a jackass of himself. It’s actually beneficial in understanding how Chariho apologists think. I may not like it but it is instructive.

    Comment by Truth or Consequences — April 28, 2008 @ 10:41 pm | Reply

  67. Charihoparent,
    I understand that there are many in Richmond that are very unhappy with Hopkinton. Please understand that we want the best for our kids, which includes your kids. Many of us have family and friends in Richmond, too.

    I took a ride to the school so I could understand Hopkinton’s options, short of withdrawal as I do not currently feel that this is in the best interest of Hopkinton. But, to me to bring the 5th and 6th grades back, Hopkinton has a few options. 1. If it is feasible and safe, the 1904 building needs to be repaired. 2. If the 04 building is not an option, then the Ashaway and HV schools will need additions. 3. If neither is possible, then we are left with the middle school, which in my view is not an option.

    Charlestown is currently looking at its options. They obviously are considering full or partial withdrawal as well as facility options.

    I would hope that Richmond is doing the same.

    I wish that Charlestown and Richmond could easily build to their existing schools, but it doesn’t seem likely. So, what are their options?

    I, and I believe many here in Hopkinton, have always felt that the town lines shouldn’t be so stringent. Currently, children who are learning challenged cross town lines because it is cost effective. Why can’t the other children receive the same services? It’s an option. What it would entail and the space required would have to be worked out?

    But keep in mind, the issue of tax equality is still a sticking point. People know where I stand on the issue. If neither side is unwilling to work this out, then I fear the end result.

    The two issues in my mind are simple, the tax burden on some, or lack thereof on others, and the 5th and 6th grades.

    I toured the 1904 building last week and took some pictures. My concern is that we have been left a building with some serious problems. The lack of maintenance and repairs is evident. The district has had a problem focusing a part of the budget on this in the past. Thankfully, this year, the district is making improvements, but they have to.

    They are being pressured into it by local and state fire marshals. As long as we continue to make improvements here, they are content. But, what about all 4 elementary schools? If they are in the condition that the 04 building has been left in, then I am concerned that the district cannot effectively care for our own town assets. Use, abuse, and repair only when you have to is a poor policy. I am of the conclusion that our elementary buildings are best left up to the individual towns. Sad, but true.

    And I agree that the issue with the unions and the contracts is another part of the problem. But, with the continued tax cap reduction, at some point this will be dealt with. It will never be dealt with if we don’t demand that our schools be repaired within these budgets.

    We need to demand that these budgets have actuals with the budgeted figures from prior years. Mrs. Capalbo is right… Give the actuals from the 2 prior years and explain the merging of the accounts within the budget. We can figure it out.

    As far as Richmond goes, we have family and friends there as well. We want the best for them. I hope you didn’t mind me asking about the land next door. I would ask that they investigate the DEM issues further. The housing market is in a slump. This could benefit Richmond. What other things could Richmond do, besides withdrawal? You are from Richmond, and this is an issue that touches you personally, and actually does concern most of us from Hopkinton as well.

    I would hope that all 3 towns could come to some conclusions about their own schools to deal with the 5th and 6th grade issue. If a partial withdrawal is a solution, then so be it. If Charlestown feels they are best suited to withdraw, then so be it. (I would be deeply disheartened, but I truly understand.) Sadly, the Charlestown accessable tax base works to our disadvantage, as well. Without them in the district, our state reimbursement rate would go way up. Richmond and Hopkinton would come out okay. Charlestown would get what they want, as well. (Keep in mind, the thought of any one town withdrawing is a thought that bothers me. The withdrawal of any one town is extremely sad.)

    Yet, someone once said that the sun will still be shining tomorrow. It will.

    Just a comment to all regarding this debate, let’s focus on the issues regarding the schools. Going back and forth at each other is not solving anything. We are all mature adults here. We can generate a list of options that perhaps all would be willing to consider, even school choice. This is an excellent forum. Let’s use it wisely. Just keep in mind, the kids are reading these exchanges. Let’s try to be positive.

    Comment by Lois Buck — April 28, 2008 @ 10:46 pm | Reply

  68. Just once I’d like to see an idea not acceptable to Barry Ricci be embraced by the school committee. You try to be reasonable Lois B. but tell us one idea you’ve suggested that CharihoParent offered a positive opinion? Tell us one suggestions Bill F. has made that Barry Ricci has supported? Is it possible that only Barry Ricci knows what is best for our communities and our kids?

    There are Chariho people who fight tooth and nail against any changes at Chariho that they haven’t approved. These people were galvanized when Charlestown considered withdrawal several years ago, and they dominate the school board now. CharihoParent claims to not have any connections to Chariho. I don’t beleive anything he says, but in any case he is a perfect example of the resistance to anything not endorsed by Chariho administration. Every solution is wrong. Every action is impossible. That is until the power brokers at Chariho say its okay, then anything is possible.

    Chariho is probably the largest employer in the area. Any changes at Chariho are apt to threaten jobs. Any changes at Chariho are sure to disrupt plans being made to expand the system. The Chariho people have a problem. They can’t survive a break up of the district yet they can’t accept any significant change either. Hopkinton is their enemy because we are the citizens who’ve said enough is enough.

    The whole thing is fascinating to observe. Bill Felkner’s little blog that could has become a great source of frustration and fear for the Chariho people. Now if it can only be an agent for change.

    Comment by Truth or Consequences — April 28, 2008 @ 11:04 pm | Reply

  69. We all can’t agree on everything, but we can’t give up. I will continue to offer my ideas. I am trying to encourage people, like Charihoparent, to offer their ideas. I encourage everybody to be open-minded on all the issues.

    I once thought as Charlestown. I lived there from 82-93. (Loved it!) I listened to both sides of the issue. I’ve experienced both sides of the issue. I think it important to understand Richmond’s perspective, too. I hope that the respect I show them, will help us all work out our differences for the benefit of the children and the taxpayers, everyone.

    I understand Charihoparent may not agree with me on most issues. But, we need to understand all sides of the issue to develop some conclusions. Withdrawal, as it is an option, should be the last.

    I’m not going to get into the debate regarding involvement. Some are able to spend a great deal of their time with Chariho, most are not able. That is their circumstance. That is why this forum is important. So, all can participate in the debate.

    T or C: Mr. Felkner has some great ideas. I have written letters to the editor in support of some of his claims. We’ve talked many times, and I have read many of the links he provides. I respect the fact that he backs up his arguments with facts. It is really up to all to come to their own conclusions regarding these facts. (Will they always agree with us? No.) But, change takes time and understanding and a good honest debate.

    How long has the Friedman Foundation been pushing for school choice? A long time.

    Change takes time.

    Comment by Lois Buck — April 28, 2008 @ 11:49 pm | Reply

  70. And I was one of those citizens who said enough is enough. I am still saying it. There has got to be a way to work through these issues. There is too much at stake for all 3 towns.

    Comment by Lois Buck — April 28, 2008 @ 11:55 pm | Reply

  71. Have you ever seen CharihoParent offer anything but negativity to an idea put forth by you Lois B.? There may have been a few minor agreements but in his world you are far off base on nearly every idea you generate.

    Since the Chariho apologists see no reason to change and they reject nearly every alternative to the status quo then they leave us with no choice. They want the community to continue on the same course of failure. They don’t shy away from telling us we are wrong, and I see no benefit for those of us looking for improvements to roll over and play dead for them. They are the ones that are wrong. They are the ones supporting a school that is failing the community. I’m all for calling a spade a spade.

    Comment by Truth or Consequences — April 29, 2008 @ 12:06 am | Reply

  72. TorC: Much of what Charihoparent has said about my ideas have been negative, I agree. That is not going to stop me from offering them.

    I also do not claim to have all the answers. What might work for us, might not work for them. I am just trying to understand his perspective, while in the process, I hope he understands ours. We will never move past our differences if we don’t bring them out. Perhaps, while having these discussions, we might find we have a lot in common.

    I also hope that others from Richmond join in this debate. It is important that all communicate their ideas. Richmondparent and I, just last week discussed the issue of how to make repairs on the high school as inexpensively as possible. The ideas and thoughts generated between our dialog perhaps helped him and others know what one option could be. He generated some excellent thoughts during our conversation. Whether it’s a possibility for work parties to be formed, I don’t know. It’s a radical idea around here that can only move forward with some creative leadership. I still have faith in our current leadership within the school committee to step forward and truly debate the issue further. The only way these issues are truly going to be solved is by a community wide effort. That means by involving all 3 towns in a peaceful and thoughtful process, setting aside our differences to understand the other side’s perspective.

    I think most on this blog wants what’s best for their town. So, how do we reach that goal? Lay it out on the line here. I have tried, and I have taken criticism for it.

    Withdrawal is the easy way out, so let’s list other options besides the bond, which has already been laid out on the line.

    It seems that many in Richmond think they can afford the bond. At least the minority hasn’t spoken out with great strength or organization regarding spending which is evident by the votes they have taken. So, if they are willing to spend the money. Why not invest it on their existing school or a new elementary school? This is now their asset. Charlestown is considering, I’m sure, similar proposals, while obviously considering partial or full withdrawal.

    School choice is an option. What if, radically speaking, all 3 towns agreed to give out vouchers to the students? It would help out them and a whole bunch of issues at the main facility.

    What if we could all agree to organize and participate in multiple work parties to make repairs at the high school? Could it happen? Possibly. The logistics would have to be worked out, but the benefits are numerous.

    What if we made it our goal as a community to once and for all deal with our K-6 concerns?

    What if we could all come to some agreement regarding the financing issue?

    What could we do about the budget process to make it more transparent and easily understood for everyone in the district?

    I have been angry at times. Not at any town or person within the district, but mainly at the policies within the running of the district. After touring the building, I was amazed at the maintenance issues within the 04 building. I would ask Richmond and Charlestown residents to consider our perspective regarding this issue. This school was turned over to the district to maintain, and they have failed. I have the pictures, and I hope, when it is possible, I will find a way to share them. I think if it was their town asset, they would be appalled. The only time the district responds to anything is when they are forced to. This is one of the policies that has to end. So, set up a maintenance policy and a budget line item to fund it.

    The union and the contracts are another issue. The contracts and the process will probably never change until the issue is forced to be dealt with, unless the laws are changed, of course. And truthfully, Charihoparent has seemingly recognized that this is a serious issue, which if I recall my facts correctly, and I apologize if I am wrong, is a change from his initial opinion.

    I have to cut my typical, wordy editorial short here, today, (to the cheering fans.) I know that some answers have been floated around within this blog, many times. Feel free to cut and paste my questions to answer them again.

    I am only one vote. I want to hear what others think (from all 3 towns, as this is the Chariho School Parents Forum). Ideas, too! Not just criticism, please!

    Comment by Lois Buck — April 29, 2008 @ 7:48 am | Reply

  73. LB…. I agree with you.. this is a great place to voice opinions and hopefully learn from one another as to why people feel so strongly about issues. I would however like to say…to all bloggers… if you are going to stick information out online PLEASE make sure the information is correct and not taken out of content. As I have said, it is important to give out the whole story. For example, saying you can educate a child at St. Pius for 4,000 vs. 13,000 would need more inforamtion. Chariho has thousands of children to educate… St. Pius has less than 500 … how many of your students have IEPs, special needs ect..

    Comment by Richmondparent — April 29, 2008 @ 8:43 am | Reply

  74. Almost every idea you repeat here has been rejected by CharihoParent. There is one thought new to me. Richmond and Charlestown voters approved millions more in spending at the high school and middle school so logically they may support shifting the millions to their elementary schools?

    If each town took back the operation of elementary schools, K to 6 being preferable, then each town could spend their own money as they see fit. Who cares if Hopkinton thinks Richmond spends foolishly? As long as Richmond is spending their money and not ours it is none of our business. Have fun. Spend away!

    Improving and expanding the elementary schools would mean more space availibility at the high/middle school. This ends the large expense of expansion and only leaves the expense due to maintenance neglect. We can catch up with annual budgets.

    I admire your willingness to keep the ideas coming despite the negativity. You’re much more tolerant than me. Let’s see if your latest idea gets any play in Richmond and Charlestown or if they come up with more excuses why spending Hopkinton families’ money is the only solution that will work?

    Comment by Truth or Consequences — April 29, 2008 @ 8:48 am | Reply

  75. TC I want to go back to your comment on 63 I don’t get mad at people, a little frustrated at times but not mad. Everyone has their own opinions on what will work and what won’t work for this district. The frustrating part is this for the school committee. We have 3 towns to work with where the town councils have only their own. I think we need to try to do our best for our towns that we represent but can not ignore the wishes of the other 2 towns either. It is a balancing act. Lois Buck has brought some interesting information to this blog and I agree with her last comment. Ideas will help us to move forward; criticism is putting another block in the road. We as the town of Hopkinton will not get everything we want and I feel the approach that Lois has is the correct way. She is reaching out to the other towns and trying to come to a resolution that will work for all. I applaud here and stand beside her and Lois I would like you to know; if there is anything you would like to see on the agenda to start a discussion on this let me know and I will move on it.I don’t put something on the agenda until there is enough information to back it and feel you would let me know when you are ready. I think this is the charge of the school committee. I think the education and maintenance of our builidngs is where our time should be spent; not as mediators between the towns or bickering between ourselves.

    I am with all of you on bringing back the 5th graders at least, if possible the 6th graders. Lets work together on this. If we do we can achieve anything. If everyone keeps pulling in different directions, like anything; eventually it will break.

    Comment by bpetit — April 29, 2008 @ 8:54 am | Reply

  76. bpetit… I couldn’t agree with you more… ” I think the education and maintenance of our builidngs is where our time should be spent; not as mediators between the towns or bickering between ourselves”… the three towns have spent way to much time trying to figure out how to break away… I wish the time was spent on how to better improve the schools. So much time and money wasted!

    Comment by Richmondparent — April 29, 2008 @ 9:01 am | Reply

  77. Tuition to St. Pius is $4000 or so. That is the facts. Even if the $4000 represesents the cost for mainstream students it is an honest value. Now how about Chariho, a public school, telling us how much we are paying to educate RYSE, IEP, spec ed, etc. kids?

    Comment by Truth or Consequences — April 29, 2008 @ 9:59 am | Reply

  78. Bob,
    I think that if you would like an agenda item, and you feel that the issue of maintenance is at the forefront, then I would suggest that the committee begin discussions regarding organizing a volunteer organization or committee. A discussion of the ramifications in regards to employee contracts, who would organize the effort, how could we reach the masses to generate interest, how could we involve the students, perhaps as an incentive towards their graduation portfolios, and the safety issues involved (ie…lead paint, asbestos, and demolition concerns).

    Obviously, the buildings cannot just sit there and not be dealt with, while other issues are being addressed.

    Keep in mind: Your job is to run our schools. I do think that as a group that represents all 3 towns, you should be liaisons between your councils. So, if you as a group approve a course of action, it isn’t going to proceed if you don’t sell it to the councils. Add salesman to your repertoire.

    Comment by Truth or Consequences: Improving and expanding the elementary schools would mean more space availibility at the high/middle school. This ends the large expense of expansion and only leaves the expense due to maintenance neglect. We can catch up with annual budgets.

    This is my belief, exactly. And RYSE and the ALP program would have a home as well.

    Mrs. Capalbo has stated regarding a joint bond that would go through the district that each of the towns could put forth what they want in their own schools, to have put in the facilities to deal with the K-6 dilemma. Hopkinton can’t afford as much, but we are well aware that something has to be done with our schools to accommodate our children. Charlestown and Richmond apparently have the money to spend perhaps towards new structures. We would then be responsible for our own improvements. Each town could spend what they want. What we gain is improvements to our own facilities within our own towns, and a more appropriate educational environment for the young adolescents. And the benefits of the district could still be realized. Feel free to add more benefits.

    It is rather hard to compare apples to oranges in regards to public and private schools without having all the numbers from both of them. Perhaps, a better budget structure would help in this venture. Maybe, that should be added to the agenda, as well, if it hasn’t already been done.

    Comment by Lois Buck — April 29, 2008 @ 11:47 am | Reply

  79. TorQ… yes it is a 4,000 … but the point is you can not compare the cost of a student education at Chariho vs. a student at St. Pius. They pick the kids they educate. They dont have to pay for their books or transportation cost. They don’t have unions. They don’t have to pay teachers as much.. If you are going to compare schools… it is more responsible for someone to compare public school to another public school. Then you will get a better picture. That is like comparing the cost of running Barrington Rhode Island Police Dept. vs. the cost of running the Bronx, NY police dept. Not a good comparison.

    Comment by Richmondparent — April 29, 2008 @ 12:06 pm | Reply

  80. Hi!
    Ron Preuhs called me this morning out of the blue, no pun intended, and we had a nice chit chat. His late father-in-law Norm McCarthy was Principal at Ashaway Elementary decades ago, when I went there. He seems like a person interested in being on the school commitee. I understand he normally does not follow the blog but had checked it and called me. He does have a concern about being on the school committee and his federal related job but wishes to continue. I give him credit for contacting me, and he was civil.

    Comment by Scott Bill Hirst — April 29, 2008 @ 12:37 pm | Reply

  81. Lois the volunteer work party has been done and can still be an on going thing. it did work well a couple of years ago and I did mention it at one of the meetings. I will bring that up again. We do agree this is a starting point. The big picture of maintenance is not something that can be done on a Saturday through a work crew. I know you understand this I just thought it good to put out there.

    T or C- you said it was $4000 for tuition to ST. Pius? Is that what it costs to educate the children or the cost to the parents? I think (I may be wrong) that the cost is higher something in the area of $8000, but the dioceses picks up some of the cost also. Not that I disagree with your question or statement but more curious to know if this $8000 is more in the ballpark of what it cost them to educate the children?

    Comment by bpetit — April 29, 2008 @ 1:25 pm | Reply

  82. Great question… my point exactly. Mr. Bill Felkner wrote on opening statement to the Bond on this webpage He wrote… “My response: “We spend $13,000 per student and we have holes in the bathroom walls. I personally spend $4000 per student at St. Pius and have great bathrooms”.

    I would love to know the answer to that question. You can’t make a statement like that without adding all the additional information. Its just not responsible on his part to make such a statement just to make CHARIHO look bad.

    Comment by Richmondparent — April 29, 2008 @ 1:54 pm | Reply

  83. From a council perspective – Chariho has 3,600 students, Hopkinton has 10,000 citizens including students. Richmond has another 10,000 and Charlestown has more. Our municipal budget is overwhelmingly ‘the kids’ 74.7% for Hopkinton. And this is Before Bonds.

    We have elderly (and they are rapidly increasing) and no services for them. Roads, bridges, drainage, infrastructure and pittance a year to maintain the older and build newer for everyone.
    Police and dispatchers for public safety and protection.
    Fire, Emergency Management and Ambulance that we must accomodate for the good of all.
    Libraries, Recreation, Parks for quality of life before 18 and after, a long time after 18 – another 80 years effectively.
    Safe water, conservation of rivers and streams, bays, forests, fields – and little money for this either.
    Town records, birth, death, property, building, zoning, collections and assessments – local, state and national record keeping.

    A town – Hopkinton or Richmond or Charlestown – must fight for, argue for, plead for, demand for, our citizens – all of our citizens, not just ‘the kids’ – rights of life, liberty, safety, leisure, work and play. And our budget – 74.7% goes to less than 20% of our citizens and those only between the ages of 5 and 18. There is a bigger world out here. And there are bigger needs out there beyond the school acreage that we must address with 25.3% of all the taxes we raise.

    Take your home budget and present 75% to the kids (just education, no clothes, no home, no vehicle, no insurance, no health, no dental, no food, etc) and try to survive on 25%. That is exactly what happens to your property tax – 74.7% directly to the school; 25.3% for everything and everyone else. Richmond is worse. Charlestown spends 60% on ‘the kids’ and 40% on the town.

    It’s why Tom, Vin, Sylvia and I stand united and firm. All our citizens and our town are worth more than this. Finances count.

    Comment by BarbaraC — April 29, 2008 @ 3:59 pm | Reply

  84. From the council perspective. Chariho has 3600 students, Hopkinton has 10,000 citizens including students; Richmond has the same; Charlestown has more just fewer kids. 74.7% of your property taxes in Hopkinton (more in Richmond, less in Charlestown) go directly to the Chariho district to support the kids – less than 20% of our citizens. And that is Before Bonds.

    That leaves 25.3% for all other municipal spending.

    Elderly affairs (we are getting more quickly) and no services.
    Roads, bridges, culverts, infrastructure – for a fully functioning, well cared for town.
    Police and dispatchers for public safety and the welfare of homes and businesses.
    Fire, Emergency Management, Ambulances for personal well-being and safety for our citizens and others as well.
    Libraries, Recreation, Parks – quality of life issues for everyone of all ages for as long as they live.
    Water, rivers, streams, fields, forest, conservation and land trust benefits for a clean healthy environment.
    Town records, deeds, weddings, births, deaths, building, zoning, collections, assessments – state, local and national record keeping for historic past, present and future needs.

    Take your home budget and give 75% to your children – only school, no clothes, no home, no food, no vehicle, no insurance, no medical, no dental, no goods or furniture, no cell phones. Now live on 25%.

    The funding of the Chariho District is important because it affects all of us in more ways than we can count. It is a states issue too – all around the nation. Property taxes do not provide for the majority of citizens. They are, unreasonably, primarily for 5 to 18 year olds.

    Comment by BarbaraC — April 29, 2008 @ 5:45 pm | Reply

  85. I’ll make a deal with anyone wanting detailed information on how much it actually costs to educate a child at St. Pius. First provide us with detailed information on how much it actually costs to educate children in the different programs at Chariho, and then we can worry about the exact cost at a private school. No offense Bob P., but you’re on the school board and you can’t give us a detailed cost breakdown of Chariho students. Don’t you think it is odd? Even if we could tell you precisely what St. Pius costs, we still couldn’t compare because no one dares tells Barry Ricci to provide the information for the public school kids at Chariho.

    Comment by Truth or Consequences — April 29, 2008 @ 9:21 pm | Reply

  86. Ron Pruehs hasn’t demonstrated a desire to control Chariho spending and improve education. I was anticipating his leaving the school board because of his federal job. I hope he can’t run for the board. If he can run I hope Hopkinton produces enough decent candidates that he loses. Richmond and Charlestown are fine with the status quo but Hopkinton voters reject the status quo. We need board members who represent us and not the other two towns.

    Comment by Truth or Consequences — April 29, 2008 @ 9:25 pm | Reply

  87. TorC…. I think you are missing the point. BF made a comparison of the cost of students at St. Pius to prove a point that he can get a better education at St. Pius for 4,000 vs. what Chariho cost 13,000. He in my opinion, made such a comparison to make CHARIHO look bad. Regardless… someone that is a leader in this community should not be making such statements without providing enough backup to prove what he has said. Saying such a statement is misleading to his readers. He should of compared Chariho to another “like” school and then it would have been a more credible statement. I would never make a comparison to St. Pius because it is just not a school that can be compared to Chariho.

    Comment by Richmondparent — April 30, 2008 @ 8:02 am | Reply

  88. BC… Thank you for the information regarding Hopkintons budget issues…Hopkinton is certainly in a tough situations but I am not sure saying “no” to all bonds is the solution. The school budget will continue to increase due to the repairs that must be done. Hopkinton will continue to pay a higher cost for those repairs. As I have said before the bond would allow you to get those same repairs completed at a much lower cost to Hopkinton tax payers (state refund and tritown split of the cost). I hear resident complaining that they want their K-6 back in their towns but the first bond (99 mill) did address this issue and it was still voted down. My other questions, like a parent that has no choice but to provide for their children would have to increase the money intake by getting a second job… Hopkinton should be looking to increase there tax base but it seems they residents of Hopkinton do not want this?

    Comment by Richmondparent — April 30, 2008 @ 8:17 am | Reply

  89. You miss my point RP. Chariho is our school. Run with our money. If we can’t get figures for what our public school costs to educate public school students I hardly think we should be critical of anyone unable to determine the detailed costs of a private school. We know as much about St. Pius’ costs as we know about Chariho. An exact comparison? No. But considering Chariho doesn’t provide the community with cost analysis of the spending on students, it is the only comparison we have locally.

    We do know that around the world school choice is as least as cost efficient, and delivers superior educational results. I see no reason the same wouldn’t apply in our little corner of the world. Until Chariho operate transparently and gives detailed accounting of its spending, the $4000 vs. $13,000 comparison is what we have to go by.

    Comment by Truth or Consequences — April 30, 2008 @ 8:44 am | Reply

  90. Saying no to bonds is not a solution but the catalyst to a solution. As Richmond has proven, saying yes to every Chariho demand is a surefire way to ensure the status quo. Saying no to the bonds has created debate and each town is taking steps to address their educational concerns (well, maybe not Richmond). Not liking the solution is not the same thing as a lack of a solution.

    If Hopkinton had approved any of the recent bonds we would be stuck with 20 years more of the status quo of bloated contracts, inferior education, tax inequities, etc. By rejecting the bonds everything remains on the table. Hopkinton has created options which would not exist if we had given Chariho millions more without any requirments for changing the paradigm.

    Perhaps we don’t want to work two jobs because we value people more than things? Perhaps a good parent would reduce money outflow rather than increase money intake? Maybe a good parent would undestand the value of being with their kids instead of buying for their kids? Maybe that’s just the old fashioned way we think in Hopkinton?

    Comment by Truth or Consequences — April 30, 2008 @ 8:52 am | Reply

  91. Simple not true… this information was taken from an article off of (March 12, 2008). Article written by Randal Edgar – I would encorage all to read the entire article. It gives you a much better picture of where Chariho his in comparison to public schools in RI.

    “While the average per-student payroll cost among Rhode Island’s 36 school districts was about $7,400, Narragansett’s was $8,929 — third-highest in the state.

    Other South County districts also showed themselves to be pricey when per-student personnel costs were compared with those of other districts across the state, while a few came in middle of the road.

    North Kingstown, South County’s largest district with 4,536 students, had the region’s lowest per-student payroll cost — $6,963. Exeter-West Greenwich was the next-lowest, at $7,268, followed by Chariho, South Kingstown, Westerly, Jamestown, Narragansett and Block Island”

    Comment by Richmondparent — April 30, 2008 @ 8:59 am | Reply

  92. I would like BF to comment as to where and how he got this cost of $13,000 per student cost for CHARIHO…

    Comment by Richmondparent — April 30, 2008 @ 9:04 am | Reply

  93. website –

    I would also ask that you review this website… it compares Equity and Adequacy of Resources
    Total Per-Pupil Expenditures excluding Other Commitments and Students Served Out-of-District – 2006 information. This chart begins with the most to the least – New Shoreham – cost = 22,028
    Chariho – 12,195 Cumberland 8,444.. T

    This also breaks down the cost by Instruction, Instructional Support, Operations and Leadership

    Comment by Richmondparent — April 30, 2008 @ 10:08 am | Reply

  94. I would like to know where Randal Edgar got his numbers? Since families pay the entire cost of running Chariho, payroll costs is only one piece. I’d also like to know how much Chariho spends on RYSE students? How much do they spend on IEP students? I’d like to know how much they spend per student in the elementary schools and would like it broken down by each elementary school? How much on middle and high school?

    All these numbers are likely calculated if Chariho is managed properly. Any well run organization would break down spending so they could best control costs. If the numbers don’t exist they should exist. If they do exist Chariho chooses not to tell the public and perhaps not even the school board.

    I believe the $13,000 per student is probably low. The true cost of a Chariho education should disregard certain revenues such as aid. Aid doesn’t come out of thin air.

    Comment by Truth or Consequences — April 30, 2008 @ 10:09 am | Reply

  95. You again are make assumptions based on your opinions… I would encorage you to go to this website and find out more information before jumping to that conclusion. The information is out there.

    Comment by Richmondparent — April 30, 2008 @ 10:28 am | Reply

  96. No jumping. The only reliable information would come from Chariho itself. I’ve seen nothing documenting Chariho’s cost breakdown for educating students, i.e., RYSE, IEPs, etc. I encourage you to provide proof of detailed analysis before asserting it exists. I went to the website and I didn’t find anything close to detailed analysis. We would need to see the numbers Chariho reported to RIDE and where those numbers come from. Do they include transportation? Do they include support staff? Do they include guidance counselors? We know that RIDE has misreported staffing numbers in the past based on what they extrapolated or Chariho provided. Even Chariho acknowledged they were in error.

    Sorry, but Chariho is the school we pay for and Chariho should provide the detailed spending breakdown for us to analyze and review. Anything less would be jumping to conclusions. Why would anyone question St. Pius’ figures yet give the public school paid for with our money a pass? Odd.

    Comment by Truth or Consequences — April 30, 2008 @ 10:46 am | Reply

  97. Again… I don’t want detialed information from St. Pius… it is not useful information to me when comparing it to how well Chariho is doint. As I said, it was Bill Felkner that made that comparison not me. My feeling is, if you are going to make a comparison, make a comparision to a school like Chariho. Yes you do pay Chariho but it is educational for me and you to look at other school information as well.

    Comment by Richmondparent — April 30, 2008 @ 11:13 am | Reply

  98. Hi!
    Note Richard Hosp’s letter in today’s Westerly Sun in response to Vinnie Cordone’s letter. I suspect it may be circulated in other papers.He notes in the letter “There is no rational argument for tax equalization.” He does not mention Vinnie by name. Tax equalization does exist over town lines for fire districts in Rhode Island and in other states for education as I understand it. It is far from a radical concept.
    What is omitted is that Charlestown clearly being a seasonal community has many property taxpayers who cannot vote unless they register to vote there.If you noticed The Westerly Sun recently where it noted that non residents who paid individually or severally with others taxes on a certain amount of property in Stonington could vote on their budgets. That is not allowed in town and school district votes in Rhode Island but certainly at least fire districts such as Ashaway Fire District let non resident property taxpayers vote on budget items.Fire districts such as Hope Valley-Wyoming which cover two towns have an equalized tax rate for fire protection.

    Comment by Scott Bill Hirst — April 30, 2008 @ 4:41 pm | Reply

  99. Tax equity for common-use government services is the norm, not the exception.

    The rationale for tax equity is all voters are paying equally for the same government service. When families in Charlestown have to pay less for a Chariho bond or budget then clearly they are more likely to vote yes or ignore the extra expense.

    The impact of tax inequity is easy to understand. Charlestown families pay less than Hopkinton families for the same exact service. I have no problem with Charlestown not wanting their families to be equally burdened by Chariho as Hopkinton families. I understand why they would want things to remain as they are. If Charlestown leaders were being honest they’d admit they understand Hopkinton’s position as well.

    Comment by Truth or Consequences — April 30, 2008 @ 6:23 pm | Reply

  100. Hello RichmonParent (from #86),

    The 99 mill bond – failed by both Charlestown and Hopkinton – would have built 5 new schools and given Hopkinton both the 1904 building and the Hope Valley School back to the towns as the major liabilities that they have become under Chariho’s watch. It would be good if Richmond understood that if the water cannot be fixed you might get your school back too. Chariho would tell you this was a wonderful asset. It’s what they told us.

    TorC is also correct in that saying No to bonds is not the solution but it is the catalyst to bring Charlestown and Richmond to the table for discussions. We also understand that the schools must be fixed but not by telling us that we must pay twice Charlestown’s bill by taxpayer. And Richmond has the same double payment by taxpayer. As Mr. Cordone has said these three towns would never have been put together as a district in 2008. Fifty years is a long time and there have been enormous changes in our tax liability and it cannot be swept under a rug.

    Our tax base is actually growing by leaps and bounds since our town has manufacturing jobs in three large settings now with more to come. Richmond has slowed down substantially and will feel even more of a crunch to come. We can only improve as our tax stabilization policies form and finish. It’s good to be the surprise shining star of the RIEDC – they never expected us to be the strength we are by being able to offer developers water, land, zoning and conservation right by Rt. 95.

    Our tax argument is for you too. You pay even more than we do per household. We all use the same middle/high facilities, teachers, sports fields. I believe that we should be able to fix/renovate/repair/rebuild our own elementary schools with a bond through the district that we can pay for on our own. You and Charlestown can do the same. These are our own buildings and we are the landlord. We are the ones who absorb the ‘asset’ returned to us unusable. It is to Chariho’s advantage – the renovated/rebuilt buildings are theirs to use and maintain. Our smallest citizens are more needy than our teenagers.

    It took 13 bonds to build the middle school. Some citizens want us to allow vouchers. Infrastructure across the district is weak. State/national scores are far less than wonderful. We have a lot of problems to address and I think we finally have a school board that is trying and is not a rubber stamp. These are very good signs – progress is being made. It’s just hard – and slow.

    Thanks for your comments and thoughts too. It is frustrating for everyone.

    Comment by BarbaraC — April 30, 2008 @ 8:41 pm | Reply

  101. Barbara C… thanks for the feedback.. I am glad we are all on the same page when it comes to saying the school needs repairs. I am not sure what you mean by the town of Charlestown paying twice as little as the other towns since it is my understanding that the bond was to be split by all three towns. Please futher explain. I understand the budget is not split by town but by enrollment but I don’t beleive that was the situation with this bond? By saying No to the bond is by no means a catalyst to bring Charlestown and Richmond to the table for discussion. It seems it is driving the division. Also can you further explain by what you man “State/national scores are far less than wonderful”. Thanks again.

    Comment by Richmondparent — May 1, 2008 @ 7:52 am | Reply

  102. Missed it again. Barbara didn’t say Charlestown pays “twice as little”, she said said BY TAXPAYER Hopkinton and Richmond families fork over twice as much money for Chariho.

    Since Hopkinton defeated the bond Chariho spending and taxing issues have been front and center at special meetings as well as routine town council meetings. In my many years in the community I’ve never heard so much chatter about Chariho. The end result may be a division but at least the problems of Chariho are a regular part of the conversation.

    Comment by Truth or Consequences — May 1, 2008 @ 8:46 am | Reply

  103. If the town is willing to split the cost three ways evenly… what business is it of Hopkintons to determine how they collect the monies.

    Comment by Richmondparent — May 1, 2008 @ 9:53 am | Reply

  104. We get tired of hearing Charlestown whine when budgets and bonds are rejected. We figure if every district taxpayer paid equally for education we could all whine about the same things. Until then Hopkinton taxpayers will whine that we spend too much and Charlestown taxpayers will whine that we don’t spend enough.

    Comment by Real Question — May 1, 2008 @ 6:30 pm | Reply

  105. Richmondparent,

    I know this may seem confusing, but it is the crux of the problem for Hopkinton AND for Richmond. We had a ‘Eureka’ moment awhile ago. This is hard to explain but once it is understood, a taxpayer actually understands how much they are paying for the very same services.

    A ‘town’ is an abstract person – and the district, if it split the budget or the bond 3 ways by ‘town’ pays equally as a ‘town’.

    But a ‘town’ is not the ‘taxpayer’ or ‘homeowner’ who is writing that tax check and this sum is NOT equal. In Richmond your personal money used for taxes pays over $2.30 for every $1.00 paid by Charlestown taxpayers for every Chariho budget and for every Chariho bond. It is NOT equal when your family writes that check.

    That is because their tax mil rate is lower because they have over 2 billion dollars in taxable development. We – Hopkinton and Richmond combined – cannot even begin to match those monies. It means that a Charlestown taxpayer (because they have the ocean front properties and ocean front businesses) will be taxed less than our taxpayers in Hopkinton and Richmond for the same service – the Chariho district.

    These 3 towns would never have been locked together in 2008. Charlestown has twice our grand list of properties that can be taxed. An elderly person in Richmond or Hopkinton will be billed $2.30 (or more) for the same educational service that an elderly person with the same home value pays $1.00 in Charlestown.

    The towns can be ‘equal’- the taxpayers can NEVER be equal unless, the Chariho district were a taxing district (like the fire districts with which we are familiar) and billed every homeowner the same amount of tax according to their home – we would be equal. And pay for this service of education of our children equally.

    Over the course of 12 years of education for your child in Richmond at $2,300 per year = $27,600. If you lived in Charlestown your child’s education over 12 years would be $1000 per year = $12,000. Same District, Same Teachers, Same Ball Fields. Different Costs because our mil rates are different because our grand list can NEVER keep up with Charlestown.

    A $250,000 home in Hopkinton (similar in Richmond) pays over $4000 in taxes per year. The same home in Charlestown pays less than $2000 per year. 60% of their taxes go to the school for the year, 75% of Hopkinton and 82% of Richmond taxes go to the school for the year from the check you, personally write. These are NOT Town splits using state aid, these are Taxpayer paychecks.

    We need to solve this inequity and restructure our payments to Chariho. I don’t mind paying $100 if a Richmond parent pays $100 and a Charlestown parent pays $100. But if parents in Hopkinton and Richmond pay $230 and a Charlestown parent pays $100 – its not going to work.

    Comment by BarbaraC — May 1, 2008 @ 8:47 pm | Reply

  106. I have a complaint against the school comittee. There is too much noise in the microphone when I try to watch on cable. Deb Jennings seems to be the worse moving papers around and pouring water. Can they move the microphones unless they are speaking so I can hear? Please. I miss too much. Thank you.

    Comment by Noisy Noisy — May 1, 2008 @ 8:59 pm | Reply

  107. The tax equity issue is easy to understand Mrs. Capalbo. A bond increasing a Hopkinton family’s tax liability from $230 to $250 is less likely to find support than the same bond increasing a Charlestown’s family’s tax liability for $100 to $110. CharihoParent thinks I’m a genius, but even a nitwit should be able to understand why Hopkinton voters would be less agreeable to increased spending.

    Further evidence of Hopkinton’s brilliance is the possibility of Senate bill S 2650 becoming law. If this happens Hopkinton should expect their overall annual education burden to rise by about $4,000,000. Even if Hopkinton were dumb enough to commit to another 20 years of an inequitable funding scheme, would we be so foolish to do this with state aid possibly drying up?

    You can read the bill here:

    Comment by Curious Resident — May 1, 2008 @ 9:22 pm | Reply

  108. Welcome back CR,

    The other lovely concern is the removal of the regional bonus. If that occurs it might be cheaper each town on its own anyway.

    And I agree with Noisy Noisy – even when I am actually in the room it is as if some of the members believe the meeting is a private affair. Often they are much too soft, are speaking into their paperwork or have their hands in front of their faces. Maybe the school board members will read this and help fix it.

    Comment by BarbaraC — May 1, 2008 @ 9:39 pm | Reply

  109. Thank you Mrs. Capalbo. I was happy to read about Hopkinton’s budget vote. The bond vote in November was close, but you’re right about the ‘Eureka’ moment. The budget was opposed by a large Hopkinton majority. I think more of our population gets it now.

    What happened to the Hopkinton Speaks website? Did they move?

    Comment by Curious Resident — May 1, 2008 @ 10:00 pm | Reply

  110. If we can do without the emotions of all tri town voters and just present documented facts that would be great. For some reason my readings of Mr. Cordone’s and Mr. Hosp’s have differing degrees of facts in their most recent Letters to the Editor.

    I would reason that there is information missing from both sides of their arguements. This is 50 years of the problem if one cares to look.

    If we can present facts among the electorate no matter the real numbers among the towns we can better except the outcome.

    I’m greatful that Mr. Hosp brings his facts and figures forward (though slanted according to some quarters)as does Mr. Felkner (who seems to be, (borrowing a line from Marissa Tomei, in the film, My Cousin Vinny) dead on balls accurate, it would be great for Richmond to bring a dog (not named Mike Vick) into this tri town dilema/fight.

    As others have said in the district its time to push up instead of being pushed down.

    Comment by Tri Town — May 1, 2008 @ 10:35 pm | Reply

  111. Hey, CR’s back! Welcome back. Although, I always figured you were really two people. You post around the clock.

    Ive set up another blog –

    If the old Hopkinton Speaks crew wants it, contact me and I can transfer passwords.

    Comment by Bill Felkner — May 1, 2008 @ 11:01 pm | Reply

  112. Funny how so many in Hopkinton understand how the tax inequities results in Hopkinton taxpayers being less tolerant of spending millions more at Chariho, yet Richmond folks, at least the ones who come here, seem unable to grasp this simple concept.

    Hopkinton rejects bonds and budgets because each voter pays much, much more for education than Charlestown voters. Charlestown families buy their education cheap. Fair or unfair, this is why the two towns look at the same school bond and budget proposals and come to different conclusions.

    Charlestown I understand. Somebody else will have to explain why Richmond votes the way it does. I have my theories but what are the chances that every voter there is a moron? There must be other reasons too.

    Comment by Real Question — May 1, 2008 @ 11:05 pm | Reply

  113. I was four people, but after spending the last couple of months in the hospital for exhaustion, my doctors have convinced me to be two people.

    I’ve been catching up on School Committee meetings. You’ve been busy Mr. Felkner.

    Rhode Island Senate Bill S 2650 promises to wreak further havoc on Hopkinton. Should state aid dry up, Charlestown will only feel a pin prick. They don’t receive very much. Hopkinton and Richmond will be buried under taxes. You want school vouchers? If S 2650 passes vouchers may be our salvation.

    Comment by Curious Resident — May 1, 2008 @ 11:17 pm | Reply

  114. Glad to have you back with us, CR. Please be careful not to get yourself back in the hospital. Take care.

    Comment by Lois Buck — May 2, 2008 @ 7:00 am | Reply

  115. We really must work with Richmond citizens. It is to both our advantages. The money is complicated because the taxpayer and the town are different entities who write different checks.

    CR is correct that the loss of state aid will injure all of us. Losing 4 million, the school will have to cut their budget including personnel substantially. I doubt that the state will take such draconian measures, but who knows.

    Comment by BarbaraC — May 2, 2008 @ 8:56 am | Reply

  116. When Carcieri proposes cutting reimbursement Ricci starts screaming “THE SKY IS FALLING! THE SKY IS FALLING!” The school committee starts foaming at the mouth frantically trying to get us to waste millions on bonds.

    Now we find out that there is another proposal which will virtually eliminate school aid for Hopkinton. Why aren’t school officials slashing the budget in anticipation? Why are they still pushing for a bond when Hopkinton could be paying $4 million more for education very soon? Why the different reactions to politicians proposals?

    Comment by Real Question — May 2, 2008 @ 10:04 am | Reply

  117. A former Hopkinton Councilman stated before the last election (which they choose not to run ) that to paraphrase that person, either ‘economic cleansing’ or ‘financial cleansing’ was upon us. Not only those that were feeling the cleansing but the next round of cleansing and the next and the next. Yet we as a tri town want to embrace plummeting scores among the math and other tests. Hey, who wouldn’t want or demand a raise for failure and know they can still get away with it. The focus is clear. All kids all the time isn’t as advertised, just being duped by the next round of spin.

    Comment by Tri Town — May 2, 2008 @ 4:23 pm | Reply

  118. BarbaraC… thank you for your positive feedback and I do understand that Hopkinton wants equal taxation among the “people” of all three communities. Having said that…you have stated that Charlestown has over 2 billion dollars in taxable development and that is why the citizens of Charletowns tax mil rate is lower rate is so much smaller than Hopkintons and Richmonds. Again.. like Charlestown, shouldn’t Hopkinton and Richmond focus their energies on trying to increase its taxable development.

    Specifically, to the BOND, (not the school budget) I do not agree – why it is felt that the people of Charlestown should pay more because their town has gotten it right and allowed more taxable development in their community. If the tables turned, would Hopkinton and Richmond tax payers feel the same way. If the town of Charlestown was willing to split this bond equally among the three towns then it is up to them to decide how they are going to pay their portion of the bill. Lets also remember that Charlestown has the least amount of kids in the district but they were still going to split the BOND three ways. In my opinion, that is a good start for Hopkinton and Richmond. Their seems to be this approach that we will agree to nothing until we get everything we want. Well it is not working for the children of this community nor the tax payers of Hopkinton and Richmond. Another year goes by and the school committee trys to bandaid what they can until the day we all decide to allow them to get monies to fix the real problems. Keep in mind that you can not afford your own school nor is your town in any financial condition to keep up with the school budget increase that will continue to go up due to maintence cost. Hopkinton will continue to pay a much higher cost for these repairs unitl you all get what you want. How many years have gone by and how many more will continue to go by. Congratulations you have and will continue to pay a majority of the cost for these repairs. The school need help and all of you should take a walk thru these schools. Stop placing all the blame on the school committee and Mr. Ricci to fix all these problems. The task is to big for even them.

    The second thing I would like to address is the nasty comments that are posted on this blogg… I would ask you to all take a higher road with your comments. Calling people names and making fun of people is just not productive. Nor does it earn you or this webpage any respect. It is not funny, its just being a bully. Making fun of someone like Mr. Ricci, who is highly educated, and the people of the school committee is just not respectful! It okay to disagree with someone but lowering yourself to the “bully” frame of mind is not.

    Comment by Richmondparent — May 2, 2008 @ 5:03 pm | Reply

  119. CR,

    Hope the respite is treating you well. Though well respected in many corners your health comes first. All voters/taxpayers can respect your vigilance on behalf of the kids. Health first, come back slowly on your own terms and again welcome back.

    Comment by James — May 2, 2008 @ 5:03 pm | Reply

  120. Good luck convincing Hopkinton families paying $3,000 per year for Chariho that they need to spend more. Easy to convince Charlestown families since they are only paying $1200 for the same school. Richmond and Charlestown can keep voting for budgets far exceeding what is reasonable for employees and services, and Hopkinton will be forced to reject bonds which add to the already too high educational tax burden.

    Short of allowing a nuclear power plant into Hopkinton, our tax base will never, ever approach the tax base of Charlestown with its ocean views. Won’t happen and it is just one more simple concept which somehow eludes the great thinkers of Richmond.

    Richmond should keep in mind that it too does not have the financial health to go it alone. Richmond pays a greater percentage of the Chariho budget than either Hopkinton or Charlestown. Richmond would be well served to demand Chariho reduce its annual budgets and increase its responsibility for maintenance at all schools. A smart Richmond would join Hopkinton in calling for tax equity. A moronic Richmond would accept the status quo which harms Richmond families who are not employed by the government.

    As for Barry Ricci his qualification are lacking. Worse then his education and experience deficiencies he has proven himself incapable of efficiently and effectively running Chariho. The proof is in the pudding. While you may worry about nasty comments your friends in Richmond and in Chariho’s administration are taking the money of struggling families and throwing it away. You may find this tolerable but many of us find it contemptible. We’ve been more than nice to the idiots hurting our children, family and community. If they could only be bullied into doing their jobs we’d all be a lot better off!

    Comment by Real Question — May 2, 2008 @ 5:21 pm | Reply

  121. Hello again Richmondparent,

    Hopkinton is improving their taxable commercial base quite well recently. Richmond is still working on this as well. But the bottom line is that we can NEVER match or even begin to meet a community with ocean front property. So we will always be out-matched no matter what Mr. Hosp says. It’s physically and financially NOT possible. Their town ‘got it right’ simply by the luck of the draw – they live on the ocean, we do not. Mr. Hosp, at the Omnibus meeting, said that one day we too would be like Barrington, New Shoreham, Little Compton – NOT POSSIBLE – we don’t live on the water as all those other communities he named.

    As to the bond – all students equally use the buildings, the grounds, the classrooms, the library. ALL. Even Charlestown’s fewer students still use the same architecture, the same water and air, in the same place. And actually Richmond pays the most on the budget and on the bonds. We are in second place.

    Charlestown knows they have it good. If I lived there, I would agree whole-heartedly with their perspective. It is understandable that they would fight to keep the status quo. You would too. The problem is we don’t want to play anymore (nor can we afford to pay double for a blended district) – it’s not like 50 years ago when our tax load was similar. If it was the fire district would you like to pay twice what your next door neighbor pays for the same service?

    Comment by BarbaraC — May 2, 2008 @ 5:37 pm | Reply

  122. Barbara C.

    If my thinking is correct and others may support (or reject) info, charlestown voted out (of the district) once (withdrawal) before and after they got the ‘sticker shock’ of their new school proposed costs they didn’t want to leave the warm ambionic fluid they bathed in at the the expense of RICHMOND and Hopkinton Voters.

    Cut my taxes in half and I’ll ‘kick back’ a $100 a year increase.

    Good to see your not getting/being ‘schooled.’ Others that vote no aren’t being ‘schooled’ either.

    I’m sure with the gas allowance the Supt of chariho gets he isn’t worried about the prices of gas.

    George Abbott reminded us about a month ago of what the busing contract would be like (when it runs out) along with heating schools, electricity etc at taxpayers expense while they can’t do the same for themselves. Chariho is like the world trade center imploding, everyone getting out while the place pancakes and collapses. Of course, the children will be thought of last like the budgets. Its about we then thee (the children).

    Comment by Nick — May 2, 2008 @ 6:28 pm | Reply

  123. Thank you Barbara C… for this conversation… It is a joy to talk with you… I am glad that Hopkinton has come to the realization that they need to increase their taxable commerical base as well as Richmond. As a Richmond tax payer I hope that my town officials will also do this and based on the development around me, I beleive they have. I myself do not like running to Warwick everytime I need something and would welcome development in our small towns. Many do not like the growth and do try to protest it… but it is necessary. Hopkinton does have the potential for great growth.. I95 runs right thru it. It seems that the residents of Hopkinton do not want this in their town. No big boxes. No race track… etc.

    The situation is not perfect, but it is what it is and I feel that their has to be some compromise from all towns or we will get nothing accomplished. Would you not agree? The bond was moving in that direction and because they had agreed to split it evenly, I don’t think that is status quo but a compromise. Not exactly what Hopkinton wanted but because you cant have all the problems solved you don’t want any compromise. Yes they utilize the same facilities but we have more children then they do. Its like renting a vacation home with a group of families…. The person with the largest family would be expected to pay for more of the cost even though you are utilizing the same facilities. You can’t afford to have your own school system and you can’t afford the budget to continue to increase. So what would you like to see the town of Charlestown do for in the best interest of their taxpayers. As a town official how would every convince your taxpayers that this what they needed to do?

    As far as RQ comments about Mr. Ricci’s qualification. Effectively running Chariho would require some time to get your feet wet. I think it would only be fair to give someone time to prove themselves. For years, I have heard about how Pini was so terrible, and it sounds like Ricci is next to be blames for all CHARIHO’s problems that have taken years to create.

    Comment by Richmondparent — May 2, 2008 @ 6:57 pm | Reply

  124. Correction… “so what you like to see the town of Charlestown do for Hopkinton in the best interest of their taxpayers”

    Comment by Richmondparent — May 2, 2008 @ 7:09 pm | Reply

  125. Hello again,

    Remember the compromise was only Charlestowns. Not Richmonds or Hopkintons. We already pay double the share (each of us – you more than me).

    Comment by BarbaraC — May 2, 2008 @ 10:18 pm | Reply

  126. Charlestown should take its considerable tax base and withdraw. Charlestown can afford many more education amenities than Hopkinton and they can afford to get rid of a major headache. Hopkinton will be in an unending struggle to constrain Charlestown. Richmond has no self control for whatever reason.

    Like Mrs. Capalbo I don’t blame Charlestown voters. If I were spending $1,200 per year for Chariho I might favor brand new rather than used if it only added a couple of hundred to my tax bill. Since I live in Hopkinton and pay more than twice what my friends in Charlestown pay, I favor buying used buildings to building new ones.

    The idea that splitting the bond by towns is a compromise is ridiculous. It does very little to lessen the impact on Hopkinton families.

    Mr. Ricci has had plenty of time to get his act together. We pay way too much to be training a superintendent. Considering Mr. Ricci’s was tutored at Mr. Pini’s knee, there is no reason to be optimistic that he might become competent.

    Comment by Curious Resident — May 3, 2008 @ 12:35 am | Reply

  127. Withdraw, don’t withdraw, draw flowers or pull up your drawers? Who cares? Stop spending so much damn money on a school that doesn’t do its job very well. Stop expecting Hopkinton families to approve millions in increased spending when we are already taxed to the hilt. Stop trying to employ every third person in Richmond at the expense of the rest of us. Not only has Chariho driven out families from Hopkinton but when the legislative bill redistributing state aid gets going Hopkinton’s tax liability is going to rise another 20% or so. Hopkinton could very well see our tax burden increase by $4 million or more! Who will be left but the rich people?

    Comment by Real Question — May 3, 2008 @ 7:59 am | Reply

  128. So RQ… what would you like to see happen with the students of Hopkinton? What is the solution to you at the best interest of Hopkinton tax payors. I want to hear your solution?

    Comment by Richmondparent — May 3, 2008 @ 8:27 am | Reply

  129. Parents choose schools. There will be a few years of adjustments but schools will come. Just as importantly Chariho will ratchet up its performance to compete. Consumer choice is always in the best interest. Shame that any Americans need to be reminded that government shouldn’t be making the choices over parents.

    Comment by Real Question — May 3, 2008 @ 8:58 am | Reply

  130. Even some in Charlestown recognize and appreciate the unique benefits of an ocean community.

    “…town has benefited financially from the income from tourists and part-time residents and non-resident homeowners whose tax dollars help support the Charlestown budget and its programs.”

    A Charlestown group has started a website:

    I don’t see any public forum on the website which is disappointing, but as noted above, they at least acknowledge what so many in Richmond seem to miss.

    Comment by Curious Resident — May 3, 2008 @ 10:32 am | Reply

  131. Why are Chariho students being arrested for behaviors worthy of suspension or detention? The Chariho Times reports that a 16 year old student was arrested for pushing a 14 year old student. How can we give student criminal records for pushing? If true, this is absurd.

    The Chariho Times article is slanted as the two “criminal” incidences detailed were minor; while drug and weapon possession charges were mentioned but not explained.

    The Chariho Times, located across the street from the Richmond Police Department, has been advocating for a Richmond police officer to be located at Chariho and paid for by all three towns. Mr. Ricci has been aggressively pushing the School Committee to continue funding police presence at Chariho. The School Committee to its credit has pushed back against Mr. Ricci.

    Mrs. Capalbo and others have pointed out that a retired police officer or military member would be sufficient and less expensive. All three towns already have large police departments and could easily have officers on campus in minutes should any real threat occur. Chariho has hundreds of adult employees who should also be capable of handling children.

    I’m not betting that the School Committee will remain strong and abolish the SRO position. Fear is a powerful tool for manipulating public opinion and Chariho’s administration are expert in propaganda using fear. With the potential for state aid to pretty much disappear, the SRO position would be a good place for the School Committee to take a baby step toward responsible fiscal leadership.

    Comment by Curious Resident — May 3, 2008 @ 12:13 pm | Reply

  132. I, personally, would prefer not to have police in the school. Period. We have three perfectly fine police forces that could answer any summons at any time. I realize that Richmond is first in line, but in a severe crisis it would be all three attending.

    If the school committee is determined to have this person, I would prefer that they were hired and used as a resource by the school administration, under their auspices. Not attached to any particular town so that the employee would be working with the school committee, the teachers, the students and the administration as they establish the role model they desire His or Her boss would be the administration and the school committee. The administration and every teacher is liable for any damage or injury of any nature to our kids on school time. A police officer is not – he is liable only to his superior officer – not to the school board or administration or staff.

    Comment by BarbaraC — May 3, 2008 @ 9:54 pm | Reply

  133. We should move 5th and 6th grade out of the middle school and lease the space to the Richmond police department. Like stocking a pond with fish, arresting students for pushing should keep the Richmond police dept. very busy.

    If we ship 5th and 6th graders back to elementary schools that should increase the arrest opportunities for the other towns too. Maybe we can set up a family court in the RYSE buildings? The employment possibilities are endless!

    Comment by Real Question — May 4, 2008 @ 12:30 am | Reply

  134. I favor open choice for parents, but even when limited to only public schools, choice predictably improves education.

    Comment by Curious Resident — May 5, 2008 @ 1:44 pm | Reply

  135. If we CHANGE/rewrite the CHARIHO Act, won’t we then have to abide by the latest laws regarding regionalized school districts?

    Comment by Dorothy Gardiner — May 6, 2008 @ 5:53 pm | Reply

  136. Check this law out:

    (1) Equalized assessed value.

    (2) The loop-hole

    I find it interesting that the number one conclusion is taxing based on assessed value of property for the district, but the loop-hole is their to protect the interests or non-interests of already established school districts. They obviously recognized that the first choice was better, and more beneficial and, perhaps, fair, to the formation of regional school districts.

    Comment by Lois Buck — May 8, 2008 @ 11:05 am | Reply

  137. While the loophole is there it is comforting to see that the law recognizes the inherent fairness of taxing all families in a district equitably.

    I do think there is something unfair and perhaps unconstitutional about the Chariho tax situation. Hopkinton taxpayers are forced to pay more for education by taxpayers carrying a lesser tax burden. There is no arguing that Charlestown families can afford to be more generous with their educational spending because each family is taxed less than if the same family lived in Hopkinton. Hopkinton families are then forced to pay the cost for Charlestown’s good fortune.

    I wonder if Hopkinton has ever sought a legal opinion? At the very least should Charlestown and/or Richmond take Hopkinton to court trying to force us to pay more for Chariho then we should seek relief on the inequitable tax situation. How can a Hopkinton homeowner be forced to pay $3,000 when a Charlestown homeowner only has to be $1200? The cost of a bond or budget effects homeowners differently based on where we live.

    Comment by Truth or Consequences — May 8, 2008 @ 5:40 pm | Reply

  138. I could live with tax inequity if Hopkinton families were paying what Charlestown families pay now. I’d be thrilled if Chariho cut, cut, cut and Charlestown paid even less taxes but we Hopkinton was where Charlestown is now.

    CP and RP probably don’t represent everyone in Richmond and Charlestown but pretending Hopkinton doesn’t have a case is silliness. I can’t help but wonder if these two clowns are actually employed by Chariho or maybe union hacks. They can’t really be so dumb they don’t realize Hopkinton families paying more than double what Charlestown pays unavoidably impacts how much more we are willing to spend?

    Hopkinton should hold firm. Even a lawsuit might be a win for us. We should definitely use as attempt at using the courts to force us to pay even more as an opportunity to petition the court for our own grievances. Tax equity within a district is the norm not the exception. If a court can force Hopkinton families to pay beyond their means then the same court should force Charlestown families to pay an equitable amount for the same education product.

    Comment by Real Question — May 9, 2008 @ 10:59 am | Reply

  139. No, CharihoParent and Richmondparent do not represent everyone in Richmond. Yes, Richmond is strange in its reluctance to hold Chariho accountable for responsible and transparent spending and educational outcomes, but CharihoParent and Richmondparent go beyond strange and into the realm of Twilight Zone weird.

    I think Mr. david is more representative of the average Richmonder. I suspect many Richmond families get by pretty nicely…many on government paychecks…and they feel they are being generous by pouring money into Chariho. Chariho is like a charity to them but they don’t have to put in any effort other than paying their taxes through their escrow accounts. No sweat charity.

    Is it moronic to have this attitude about public schooling? Is it wise to let schools have free reigh in making choices for our children? That’s debatable, but I doubt Mr. david works for Chariho, but I wouldn’t be at all surprised to learn that other participants here are firmly entrenched at Chariho or at least beholden to government paychecks.

    I too could live with the tax burden of Charlestown families. If Charlestown families see their taxes decline to even lower levels, so be it. If we were equal to where Charlestown we should live with it. The problem is that Chariho spending would have to be slashed and I doubt the employees would be very happy. Oh, well…one more solution I’m sure will be pooh, poohed.

    Comment by Curious Resident — May 9, 2008 @ 1:59 pm | Reply

  140. Lois Buck put a link into the blog concerning the Establishment of Regional School Districts. It is (I think)

    We are obviously the loophole in (2). But the state does consider (1) the most fair and appropriate. Since Hopkinton is simply asking to remove ourselves from the loophole and return to (1) I don’t see why Chariho would have a problem. They get the money regardless.

    Comment by BarbaraC — May 9, 2008 @ 4:56 pm | Reply

  141. You might also check with what Mayor McKee is doing in Cumberland. He has legislation in to create a charter district. You all know I’m a voucher fan – but the mayor has had success pushing this through the GA. Indianapolis has the most well known charter district.

    Basically, its a school district that is run by the town, not a school committee – develops a program from scratch – doesn’t have to have unions, but can if it wants. Doesn’t have to do anything – well, limited mandates. McKee describes it as a clean slate.

    You can see his legislation and proposal here –

    Comment by Bill Felkner — May 9, 2008 @ 5:40 pm | Reply

  142. I’m no fan of Rhode Island’s legislature, but no denying they are powerful. Their leader has endorsed the charter school concept of Mayor McKee. You can read more about the support here:

    Comment by Curious Resident — May 11, 2008 @ 12:06 pm | Reply

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