Chariho School Parents’ Forum

June 16, 2008

HTC voucher presentation

Filed under: School Choice — Editor @ 11:23 pm

I gave a brief report on vouchers for the town council this evening. My intention was not to propose a system but to introduce the options. I also suggested that they create a panel to create a list of options.

I began be describing the process. The town collects approximately $8000 per student from local revenues. Another approx $4000 comes from the state. We could put a line of text into the Hopkinton Charter that says something to the effect of – ‘any parent that does not want their child attending Chariho or a charter school will receive an education voucher in the amount determined by the Hopkinton Town Council…’

There were several questions from the council – enrolment numbers, weighting formulas, participation with chariho, bond obligations, transportation, legal authority, homeschoolers and others I’m probably forgetting. Use this post to ask questions and I will try to answer. Here is what we did cover.

I was asked to get raw enrolment numbers. I suggested that we could get census data to find the number of school aged kids, then pull out Chariho, and estimated home schoolers and drop-outs. This could give us a rough estimate of the number of kids in private schools. The church may also be able to provide estimates.

Weighting formulas. This is most common with special ed or English Second Language students in other schools. A formula has been developed for the state that weights students. A ‘regular ed’ student uses a multiplier of 1. A 504 student might be 1.10. A student with an IEP might be 1.25. And RYSE students are already calculated when we tuition in a child from outside the district (approx $50,000).

Participation with Chariho. There is no reason for us NOT to continue our partial ownership and participation with Chariho. Even if, and this is nearly impossible, but even if 100% of Hopkinton students left Chariho, we would still have ownership from our previous investment. We just wouldn’t be paying them any money because we pay on enrollment. If it ever got to this point I would suspect that the other towns would protest and try to force us to change the Chariho Act. Wouldn’t that be an interesting turn of the table.

This was a concern in the last bond. It said we would pay 1/3 of the bond. So even if all of our kids left Chariho, we would still be obligated to pay 1/3 of the debt if that bond language was approved.

Transportation. RI is unique in that the current law requires that the local public district provide transportation for a student to go to any school in the region (larger than the district). So transportation would continue to be covered by the district – HOWEVER- If you recall a previous school committee meeting, we found out that we pay $442 a day ($78k to $98k per year) to run a small bus up to providence with 1-2 students. At that time we suggested that Ricci go to the parents and ask them if we could buy them a new car if they could get the kid to Providence every day (tongue in cheek but it would be much cheaper). Nothing happened and when I asked Ricci about it he said that they had not done anything because transportation is going to become a statewide expense. So to answer the concern brought up by Bev Kenney, if transportation goes the way suggested by Ricci, it won’t be an issue for the voucher program.

Legal authority. The Zelman case (listed in footnotes of letter below) said that as long as a parent has 100% control over the where the money is spent then there is no church and state violation.

RI constitutional law supports this ruling:

“except in fulfillment of such person’s voluntary contract”

And Bowerman notes that the RI’s Compelled Support Clause is no more restrictive than the federal Establishment Clause.

So the feds say its ok, the RI constitution uses similar language and case law says we can’t use CSC to a greater restriction than the EC.

Home Schoolers. Personally, I would like to offer reimbursement to home schoolers for expenses. But having spoken with a couple of them, I think they would only take it if it is guaranteed to NOT come with any restrictions or reporting requirements. We do provide them with books, but it’s not always done. They do have travel expenses for trips besides the normal assortment of pencils, paper, etc that could be part of the program.

There were other questions but those were the bulk of it. Basically, the town makes two decisions – 1) who will get vouchers and 2) for how much. As an example, do you provide a small voucher for everyone, including people who are already in a public school? Or do you provide larger vouchers for just a small population, perhaps parents who make less than $XXX. There are many variations of vouchers and I tried to just provide options without putting too much of my opinion on what features to use.

Town Manager Bill DiLibero asked the practical financial worst case scenario question (which we should expect from his position). If we had 50 students already in private school and we gave out $4000 vouchers – that would total $200,000 in new expenses. We would need 50 students to leave Chariho in order to save enough money to pay for vouchers for all 100 students. I suggested that in many areas they mean-test the vouchers for a period of time to allow the savings to take hold. It stands to reason that most kids in private schools now are in higher income homes (simply because of the costs). By means testing eligibility for the first year or two, it will essentially grandfather in the parents for enough time for the parents to react to the vouchers.

There are several options – some vouchers aren’t vouchers at all but simply tax credits. Some vouchers are only good for special ed – some for those under poverty times X – many many options.

Finally, there was one negative concern from the public, Doreen Dolan to be specific. She expresses the same concerns as does commenter CharihoParent. She did not want her taxes going to a religious establishment that she might not agree with. I explained that it currently already happens but she said it was just her property taxes that she was concerned about. So I tried to explain that taxes are fluid and money paid to the state has an impact on money given and gotten from the feds and one should look at all taxes in the same light – but that didn’t change her position. So then I explained the law and that these are settled issues. It is understood that taxes are fungible and all our money already goes to Muslim, Catholic, and anti-religious exploits such as the famous “Piss Christ” piece of “art.” Anything that is non-profit by definition is subsidized by taxes. I did not bother to explain that there are parents here who do not like their money going to support certain social advocacy groups at Chariho. I don’t think it would have mattered.

Finally, I offered the resources that I had found – for legal help there is the Friedman Foundation and the Institute for Justice. I also said I was willing to look for a school to occupy the 1904 building if we get to that point.

I hope that the council decides to move forward with this option. You might consider telling them how you feel.



  1. Though it got to me late (45 minutes before the meeting) regarding you being on the agenda I made it a point to go out of my way and listen to what you had to say regarding School Choice.

    Choice seems more that likely the way to go and you laid it out as best you could regarding the parameters and when you didn’t have an answer you didn’t make one up! How unpolitical, oops I forgot, your a parent and taxpayer and want the best education for all the children all of the time.
    Maybe a phrase you possibly coin.My one question was asked by, I believe, Councilor Buck which was already answered regarding transportation to Charter schools.

    I also commend your willingness to work with the councilors in providing further information as needed.

    It sounds really doable.Lets further this conversation for all children in providing them a better education than being offered.

    Nice Job. Thanks for going out of your way and sharing your free time with the Electorate. What a contribution and serious food for thought by all tri town voters.

    Comment by James Hirst — June 17, 2008 @ 12:09 am | Reply

  2. Under normal circumstances, in a school system restricted to a single municipality (say, South Kingstown) I don’t agree with vouchers. The simple reason is that it does not improve the public schools. We hope that it will, but it doesn’t. The school systems are entrenched institutions running on inertia. They are powerful, unionized and have no incentive to change anything. Vouchers don’t generally improve the education in the public schools, they just raise the costs for the taxpayers. Sure, fewer students go to the public schools but that doesn’t change anything. You can argue this but you will have a nearly impossible time proving otherwise.

    That said, Chariho is a special case. Because there are 3 towns paying into the system, we don’t actually lose much if we offer vouchers. And we have a chance to screw it to Chariho. We as a Town may pay an extra $200,000 in a voucher system or we break even. $200,000, the figure offered by the Town Manager, is a drop in the bucket and easily disappears into this Town budget with no accountability and a butt-load of “fuzzy math”. Hell, increase the “projected” tax collection rate by 1% and it disappears entirely, it’s what DiLibero is doing now anyways because he is terrified that the budget will get voted down some day! But Chariho still has to cover the cost of buildings and teachers and heat, etc. And since we have fewer students in Chariho, the money has to come from Charlestown and Richmond. So we pay about the same we have always paid and they end up paying more.

    It’s a brilliant plan with little or no consequences to us. And I am doubtful that there is anything Charlestown or Richmond can do about it but whine the the giant babies they already are.

    Comment by Fat Albert — June 17, 2008 @ 8:17 am | Reply

  3. I do think competition works everywhere, but I also agree that vouchers will go a long way to solve the problems of Chariho. As Richmond and Charlestown’s cost to run Chariho go up, their demand for accountability and responsible spending will also increase.

    Comment by Truth or Consequences — June 17, 2008 @ 8:33 am | Reply

  4. Why do poltiicians need us to tell them how we feel before they’ll act? Don’t they know how we feel by us consistently rejecting new spending? Don’t they know how we feel when we vote down Chariho bonds?

    This voucher thing is easy. They come up with a way of doing it and then some parents will take advantage and some parents will keep their kids at Chariho. If it doesn’t cost us any more and might even save us money, why does anyone want to force low income parents into Chariho? For those satisfied with what Chariho teaches kids go ahead and stay. You lose nothing. For parents not happy with Chariho they too get options to improve things for their kids.

    From what I can see the only people who might lose are school employees and politicians who derive pleasure from controlling our kids. Everybody else wins. What’s the confusion about this and why do we need to know how anyone feels?

    Comment by Truth or Consequences — June 17, 2008 @ 10:25 am | Reply

  5. “Operating expenses for each fiscal year or portion thereof shall be apportioned among the member towns in proportion to the relationship of their respective pupil enrollment in the said district school system on October 1 of the previous calendar year to the total pupil enrollment in said school system on said date.”

    If vouchers are what people want, then let’s start asking questions and finding answers to make the process go easy.

    I posted the above quotation from Mr. Abbott because, if I am not mistaken, it does have relevance. The above appears to be a direct quote from the infamous Chariho Act.

    1. Does this quote mean that to not be charged for a student for the next fiscal year, that the child would have to decide by October 1st from the previous year whether they are going to another school or not?

    2a. I would take this as meaning that if vouchers were issued, would we then be paying a voucher for whatever amount is determined and the operating cost for said student or students at the district if it is not reported by the first of October of the previous year?

    2b. What would be a fair way of handling this matter? Setting a filing date for Sept 30th or taking the chance of allowing this decision throughout the year?

    3. Is it at all possible for a parent to commit to another school by October 1st the previous year?

    4a. On another matter, how does the district handle the numbers for the preschool and kindergarten regarding enrollment and operational expenses for the projected budgets?

    4b. Are they figured into the equation from the October 1 figures?


    Comment by Lois Buck — June 17, 2008 @ 11:40 am | Reply

  6. Bill I do have a question about enrollment also. If Hopkinton stays as part of Chariho ( as I think we all agree) some students will want to stay; probably most. Well that would make the cost for Hopkinton go up also, wouldn’t it? As someone stated earlier you still have all the costs of Chariho and to cover all those costs, all 3 towns would be paying more.

    T or C and fat Albert am I correct with this? I think it was in your posts that you were claiming Richmond and Charelstown would now pay more. I do agree this would be the case; but also think our cost would rise per student that stayed at Chariho.

    I might be wrong, but wouldn’t it be better for Hopkinton to pull out it’s students and voucher all. If we pay $17-$18 million a year to Chariho now all of that money would come back to the town. We would than set an amount for vouchers and the parents could send them to any school they like. Than it is just tuition you pay, should save a lot of money doing it that way.

    Only problem I see with this, like Bill stated, we would loose our partial ownership and any say of what happens with the District is also gone.

    Lois I can try to find out some of those answers for you if no one else is looking it to them.

    Comment by bpetit — June 17, 2008 @ 12:52 pm | Reply

  7. Bob:I don’t believe that the town of Hopkinton would loose School Committee representation or ownership rights to the Switch Road facilities if the town were able to successfully implement a voucher system. Also,I don’t believe that any cost savings achieved through vouchering would be outweighed by increased per pupal costs ,as Richmond and Chrlestown would have to pick up the slack according to the CHARIHO Act’s current funding formula.

    I suppose that a CHARIHO loyalist could make a compelling argument for a taxing district because that scheme would probably be far less taxpayer friendly to large scale vouchering of students by any givan town.Therefore,Charlestown and Richmond should get off the dime and begin talks with Hopkinton concerning a taxing district or a tax equalization plan ASAP.

    Comment by george abbott — June 17, 2008 @ 1:44 pm | Reply

  8. Lois:CHARIHO is obligated to fund special needs preschool students in accordance with federal law.Parents may be responsible for the cost of the other preschool students.

    Comment by george abbott — June 17, 2008 @ 2:15 pm | Reply

  9. George the School Committee Representation isn’t really a concern. My concern would only be how a voucher system would best serve the Town of Hopkinton. Would it be best to pull out and voucher all of our students and give up our say at Chariho or stay with partial studetns, like Bill said, and pay as we are? We have a $50 million dollar budget now. If 30 students left from Hopkinton, we would no longer pay for those students in the district. We would have to pay the voucher, probably less money so that isn’t bad. But, Charlestown and Richmond still having the same amount of students going to Chariho, and Hopkinton still having students going ( all though fewer) to Chariho and the budget staying the same: call me sutpid as maybe I am; why would Charlestown and Richmond have to pay that much more. It seems to me the cost would be divided between the towns becasue the only enrollment change would be that Hopkinton has 30 less students. The only way the other towns would pay more is if either town has more students enrolled. I may be wrong and totally missing something here, if I am I apologize please explain?

    Comment by bpetit — June 17, 2008 @ 2:41 pm | Reply

  10. Bob:Hopkinton’s CHARIHO school bill would be approximately $240,0000 less if we voucher-ed 30 student’s.Our school bills are adjusted up or down each year based changes in our enrollment number’s.The other towns costs would increase because they would have a larger proportion of CHARIHO’s enrollment.

    Comment by george abbott — June 17, 2008 @ 3:24 pm | Reply

  11. Bill, Thank you so much for proposing this great idea. I’ve always been in favor of school vouchers. My child is in a private, Christian school. Chariho is failing our kids! The statistics are just horrific! My guestion is…what is the next step? Does the council vote on this and then if approved does it have to go to another level? What exactly is the process? I would love to be involved in helping to do what it takes to get this approved. Our children and future generations of children, thus the future of our Country will benefit tremendously! BRAVO to BILL!!!

    Comment by Bonnie — June 17, 2008 @ 3:49 pm | Reply

  12. OK thanks George.

    Comment by bpetit — June 17, 2008 @ 4:03 pm | Reply

  13. The town council is interested in this option. We need people to volunteer for a committee to study the issue and determine the funding mechanism’s in order to move forward. Bill is ready to help too, but the biggest challenge is how vouchers are granted, not how they are used.

    Bill also said that the moratorium on charter schools hs a sunset clause that goes into effect at the end of June. RI has 9 charter schools and has a cap of 20.

    Comment by BarbaraC — June 17, 2008 @ 4:08 pm | Reply

  14. Again, I believe that vouchers are a wonderful way to allow parents to do what they think is best for their children. I do NOT agree that money should be paid for “home schooled” children, as there is little or no control on the amount or type of education these children receive. I have seen some AWFUL situations for “home schooling”. I do believe that vouchers should be offered regardless of family income. (Lets not even go there!)

    Comment by Dorothy Gardiner — June 17, 2008 @ 4:50 pm | Reply

  15. I am not trying to put this down, just thought you might like to see this article. It is from the Washington Post just today. Dot I agree with you vouchers should be offered no matter what income a family has.

    Report Finds Little Gain From Vouchers

    D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton favors phasing out the District’s voucher program, which she contends drains resources from public schools.

    Tuesday, June 17, 2008; Page B06

    Students in the D.C. school voucher program, the first federal initiative to spend taxpayer dollars on private school tuition, generally did no better on reading and math tests after two years than public school peers, a U.S. Education Department report said yesterday.

    This Story
    EDUCATION: Report Finds Little Gain From Vouchers
    Real Choices for D.C. Students
    Reading Ahead
    The findings mirror those in previous studies of the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program, passed by a Republican-led Congress in 2004 to place the District at the leading edge of the private school choice movement. It has awarded scholarships to 1,903 children from low-income families, granting up to $7,500 a year for tuition and other fees at participating schools.

    The report comes at a politically perilous moment for the program. Congressional Democrats, led by D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, want to phase it out, arguing that it drains money and other resources from public schools. Most scholarship recipients have enrolled in Catholic and other faith-based private schools.

    Voucher supporters assert that Democrats, who now control Congress, should not deny poor families the kind of choices available to the well-to-do to satisfy such anti-voucher interest groups as teachers unions.

    This afternoon, a House Appropriations subcommittee will consider President Bush’s request for $18 million to continue the program.

    Education Secretary Margaret Spellings renewed her call yesterday to preserve the program, stressing that it has shown promising achievement trends. Researchers found gains in reading among some groups of scholarship recipients, although they said the bump could be due to statistical chance.

    “No one in a position of responsibility can sever this lifeline right now and leave these kids adrift in schools that are not measuring up — not when they have chosen to create a better future for themselves,” Spellings said.

    The congressionally mandated study, conducted through the Institute of Education Sciences, the department’s research arm, compared the performance and attitudes of students who had scholarships with those of peers who sought scholarships but weren’t chosen in the lottery.

    Both groups took widely used math and reading tests, such as the Stanford Achievement Test. Overall, there was no statistically significant difference in performance.

    But some groups of voucher recipients showed improvement. For instance, among students who earned relatively high reading scores before the program started, those with scholarships progressed faster and are now about two months ahead of their peers.

    Students who previously attended struggling schools — a group the program is designed to help — showed no boost in test scores compared with their peers. Grover J. “Russ” Whitehurst, director of the institute, said one possible explanation is that those children lagged far behind academically and had trouble adjusting to what may be a more demanding classroom.

    Parents of students with scholarships were more satisfied with their children’s new schools and were less likely to worry that schools could be dangerous, the report found. Students showed no difference in their level of satisfaction.

    Comment by bpetit — June 17, 2008 @ 5:05 pm | Reply

  16. Bob P.’s cited report is positive news for vouchers. Even the dept. of Ed concluded that vouchers may have a positive impact. No one reported any negative consequences. If the worst that can be said is vouchers produce neutral results, then unless you really do believe strangers should be deciding on education and not parents, then going with vouchers is safe based on this article.

    Funding for Chariho is per pupil. Here’s a hypothetical enrollment exercise. 200 students from each town attend Chariho. Hopkinton now only sends 100 because 100 families choose other schools. Hopkinton’s cost for Chariho goes from 33% to 20%. Charlestown and Richmond go from 33% to 40% each.

    Giving Hopkinton families the choice does reduce the expense of Chariho for Hopkinton. As we are told when it comes to taxing Chariho is about each town, not each family. As long as the town of Hopkinton doesn’t withdraw from Chariho, then what should it matter if individual families take a slice of the funding pie and use it at other schools? Hopkinton didn’t choose they did.

    Comment by Truth or Consequences — June 17, 2008 @ 6:25 pm | Reply

  17. Mr. Petit,

    Yes, you are correct in saying that by removing our kids from Chariho with vouchers, the cost per child is going to increase. But we still may end up paying less. But Truth or Consequences numbers don’t tell the whole story, you can’t just look at percentages, you have to look at actual cost per student. Take the following example (these numbers are for the sake of ease, they have nothing to do with real costs):

    Suppose running Chariho cost $30 million. Each Town had 1000 students. Each Town would then pay $10 million and the cost per child would be $10,000. Now assume we only had 500 students in Chariho, the cost per student rises to $12,000. But because we only have 500 kids in the system, we only pay $6,000,000. If we give each of the other 500 kids a $8000 voucher, we break even. If we give the kids a $10,000 voucher, we end up paying $1,000,000 more than if we just kept them in Chariho. Obviously, the devil is in the details. Can you send a kid to a private school or another public school for $8000? I have no idea. Mrs. Capalbo is right, it has to be studied. But if we break even, we screw with Chariho. We cause Richmond and Charlestown pain. And that may be the best we’re going to do for the time being. It may be enough for them to consider tax equalization or it may just force more hardship on them. Either way is fine by me. I’m not picky about how I subvert Chariho. If we are only talking under 100 students, it is likely that the change in enrollment will not even be noticed by Chariho. They will pay a little more, we will pay a little less. It probably won’t make much of a difference, except to those parents who want out of the system and now have a means to leave.

    Comment by Fat Albert — June 17, 2008 @ 10:13 pm | Reply

  18. Also important in the calculation is the fixed costs versus labor costs. Because labor is such a large part of the spending then it makes sense that less students means less employees. This depends on Chariho getting rid of unnecessary employees and historically they don’t control employee costs. The key is no matter what the costs if Hopkinton reduced our percentage of students than the other two towns will start to feel the same pain we feel now.

    Comment by Truth or Consequences — June 17, 2008 @ 10:26 pm | Reply

  19. Yes, I agree with you but I do not expect Chariho to start cutting positions just because they don’t need the teachers anymore. Frugality, common sense and economics seem to be beyond the Chariho administration. I think that they would look at decreased enrollment and say, “look how good our student teacher ratios are”. But even if the staff numbers did decline it would be retirement attrition, it would be an extended process, it would not be up to Hopkinton and it is completely unpredictable. I don’t think you could include any assumptions about changes in staffing levels with any certainty. But pain is good. I like pain.

    Comment by Fat Albert — June 17, 2008 @ 11:07 pm | Reply

  20. We agree Albert. I don’t expect Chariho to change their way of doing things. Maybe if Charlestown and Richmond start to feel the financial pinch like we do in Hopkinton then they too will hold Chariho to higher standards. Until then I’d think you’re right and little will change.

    Comment by Truth or Consequences — June 18, 2008 @ 12:16 am | Reply

  21. Since the average spent on Chariho students is over $12,000 and vouchers are not a replacement cost but a lessening of cost per student (to the town) so that parents are given a leg up on an option of private schooling, a $4000 voucher goes a long way. Both to lower Hopkinton’s cost per student, and give parents and students an option, and encourage Chariho to spend more wisely, and encourage the other two towns to consider working with us, and….


    Comment by BarbaraC — June 18, 2008 @ 7:52 am | Reply

  22. I spoke with someone that had their child in Prout 2 years back. At that time the cost was close to $10 thousand per year.

    T or C in your sample of how this works you ave to understand that just because the students don’t go to Chariho anymore doesn’t mean now you don’t pay. those 100 students still need the voucher. If Prout cost $10 a year and you set up vouchers to be $5 thousand, who pays the difference? The parents? The very people we talk about that are paying to high of taxes now? The same people that can’t afford their houses so foreclosures are up? I would not jump on the voucher band wagon just to stick it to Richomnd and Charlestown. I would jump on it if it is a benefit to the parents and the students.

    Comment by bpetit — June 18, 2008 @ 8:19 am | Reply

  23. I don’t believe vouchers are going to be used for all students anyway – most will still stay at Chariho. But competition may work the wonders we could not as we all complained about the abysmal math scores in particular. No one cared or attempted to fix the problem until the NEACAP scores were so awful – granted awful for everyone.

    I am sure that the charter/private/etc schools will have the same fire/building codes adhered to because children are involved. The 1904 building cost to fix thoroughly was $1,200,000 by Kaestle-Boos study several years ago. The building is still structurally sound and we could never build that much space again for $1,200,000 or $1,800,000.

    My basic problem with vouchers is that the public schools lose some of the best parents that go with those children. Parent/Teacher groups are supposed to make a difference in the schools – and in the past this has occured. When they must work through the administration nothing is accomplished but studies, adding Deans of Students, police, more administration, more pensions/health/insurances….etc and good, thoughtful, helpful and fussy parents leave the school system. That’s when we really lose.

    Comment by BarbaraC — June 18, 2008 @ 8:21 am | Reply

  24. Yes Bob,
    The parents pick up the difference. We are not paying the entire bill, we are offering to subsidize their choice. Not making it for them or babysitting their children as ‘in loco parentis’ the school seems to feel it must become these days.

    Most of us hate (I did not mistype) the fact that the school has programs for low-performing parents to improve their lives – we are not a social service agency and dislike intensely the fact that the state is mandating (with the NEA approval) this lack of money for teachers and more money for therapists.

    Comment by BarbaraC — June 18, 2008 @ 8:28 am | Reply

  25. I agree Bob P. I think vouchers have to allow families to place their kids in alternative schools. Prout does cost around 10,000. Elementary school can cost much less. I think vouchers might have to pay more for older kids and less for younger kids. They might then average out to a number we can afford. Maybe the town can have a sliding fee where the richer families get smaller vouchers? I once paid around 1000 dollars for a video camera but as competition developed and more companies started making cameras the price came down dramatically. My last video camera cost a few hundred and it was 10 times better than my first camera. Comptetition is amazing but predictable. Better product at lower cost.

    Comment by Truth or Consequences — June 18, 2008 @ 8:28 am | Reply

  26. All private schools DO NOT cost $10,000.00 per year. My son’s private/Christian tuition is the same for a 1st grader as it is for a 12th grader! I absolutely think it unfair to base the amount of the voucher on a family’s income. That would be using the same government system that is used now. Obviously, Del, Elanore Holmes Norton would be oppossed to vouchers and she is wrong about children’s education not being better in the private schools. They are 1-2 years ahead of the government run schools with their curriculum. These government run schools need to be held to a higher standard for the amount of taxpayer’s dollars that we spend to send them there. The most important fact is what kinds of adults will be produced from these schools in the workplace. We don’t want to continue the cycle of government programs (taxpayer dollars) for the majority of these kids when they go out into the work force. I read that only 60% of the Chariho graduates “plan” to attend college in the fall. This is unacceptable. We need to educate on a much higher level and our community and Country will only benefit in the long run! Again, let me know what I can do to help this process move forward! I’m so hopeful!!!

    Comment by Bonnie — June 18, 2008 @ 9:14 am | Reply

  27. T or C I like the sliding fee idea. I truly think this would help the lower income families to be a part of this process where as just one cut rate might not work.

    Comment by bpetit — June 18, 2008 @ 9:16 am | Reply

  28. I think I would side with giving the same amount per family and not making it a sliding scale. All families in our town pay exactly the same amount of their tax (in percentage according to home) to the school system. No one is higher or lower that anyone else no matter what their income. It would also become a bookkeeping nightmare for our overworked town clerks checking income levels every year.

    Comment by BarbaraC — June 18, 2008 @ 9:37 am | Reply

  29. I see your point Barbara but if it were a deal breaker between having vouchers and not having them then I would rather some kids benefit than no kids benefit. I say this as a family which probably wouldn’t be considered lower income. A sliding scale would lessen the amount my family gets but I believe so strongly that parents choosing schools will turn around the educational situation in Hopkinton that I would prefer to receive nothing than to see the opportunity disappear. This is not to say that my family wouldn’t be grateful if every family is treated equally. I just hate to see it stop educational progress.

    Comment by Truth or Consequences — June 18, 2008 @ 9:50 am | Reply

  30. Hi TorC,
    I don’t have a lower income nor do I any longer have children in the system. This ‘choice’ will not be for everyone. I don’t believe at all that even most parents would take us up on the option. Elementary parents more likely than high school.

    Simplicity in the beginning of any system is preferable to perfect fairness (“the perfect is the enemy of the good”). All of our citizens have paid equally, some even more than others (home schoolers, private schools, etc). If all the options within the program get so complex, nothing will occur as we continually study and attempt to correct the percived problems. Beginning and then correcting may be the most expeditious approach. The issue will still take a year or three to shake out even once it has begun.

    Comment by BarbaraC — June 18, 2008 @ 10:21 am | Reply

  31. I still agree with T or C. I wouldn’t support anything that would not help the less fortunate benefit from this as well as the middle or upper class. I dont think you gain anything out of that. Ok so parents have choice, but just means that a middle or upper class student can pick any school they want were as the lower class might only have a few to choose from. I don’t see any difference with that now. If you really want you student to go to a private school and you can afford it, than you have that choice to do it now. Only difference with vouchers is that now you get some money to help you out. Well I don’t see how that would help all of our students equally. To me that is a big problem in this country now, the rich get richer and the rest suffer. Soon there will be no middle class ( almost there now) it will be upper and lower. So lets give the upper class a better education because they can afford more?

    Comment by bpetit — June 18, 2008 @ 10:24 am | Reply

  32. My family is not wealthy.In fact, my wife was on Public Assistance before we got married.She put herself through CCRI and became an RN.We used her earnings as a nurse to pay for our children’s education at a small Christian school in Warwick.This school was not accredited .The Principal/Pastor would have preferred to go to jail before allowing any NEASC or DOE officials on the school property.My daughter has a good job at the CVS Distribution Center in Woonsocket.My son graduated Summa Cum Laude from URI.He is currently in his 2nd year of Medical School.

    Comment by george abbott — June 18, 2008 @ 11:16 am | Reply

  33. Nonsense Bob,
    The public schools are supposed to be a better well-rounded education. The problem is they often are not. $1500 is a lot of money toward a school for a low income parent who will also be able to receive scholarships and other funding. Middle and high income parents don’t receive the same help – nor should they.

    Giving parents school choice is not to ‘help people equally’ it is to give options to parents who will choose $10,000 or $4,000 educations for their children – there is nothing ‘fair’ about it. Chariho (at $12,000) should be the best option and needs to be challenged to be the best option. What are YOU doing to MAKE IT the best option? Adding police, no firing or lay-offs of administrators, adding aides till we have more aides than teachers, building a 4 million dollar school for 26 kids, 20% of your seniors not graduating on time?

    Look at the North Stonington and Stonington and Westerly school budgets – parents and citizens are angry and frustrated and voting it down over and over again. The schools move at a snail’s pace to make even back to basic changes. You needed to vote down administrator contracts before they rolled over so that you have some leverage – now, you have none. Barry Ricci failed you by omission (not telling the board as they discussed it with the public present hearing him say nothing) or you lied to the public by commission (knowing the truth and telling us you were going to address it at the next useless board meeting). Pick one.

    Vouchers, private schools, charter schools, home schooling – the public schools have failed and parents are so ready to jump ship. And I don’t blame them. Something has to make the public schools accountable to the parents and challenged to be better than the best. And it isn’t giving bigger and better pensions, salaries, health care or innumerous other benefits to the employees plus more employees.

    Comment by BarbaraC — June 18, 2008 @ 11:27 am | Reply

  34. Well said Barbara!! I don’t believe the voucher will pay the entire year tuition at a private or Christian school, but it will help families in lower, middle and higher income brackets. The point was made about the vouchers not helping the lower income families…these families can also apply for student assistance. Our school has a program such as that. Plenty of middle and lower income families attend and get assistance. Such assistance along with a voucher will help those families to get the quality education that they want. The solution that we are looking for is assistance not PAYING THE ENTIRE TAB for middle and lower income families and once again, the wealthier should not have to suffer. All should get the same amount! And then choose a school that they can afford with or without assistance and if the wealthier choose to use their voucher and send their child to an expensive school then they come up with the balance or if the voucher helps to cover most of the costs for some schools then that is that families choice, and if the voucher covers a small amount, then the family makes choices to cover the balance of the costs. It’s all about the choices we make and about the quality of education that we want for our children! The comment from bpetit regarding (giving a child a better education if you are wealthy, we can do that now and the voucher will assist us), yes it will, but it also takes some of our hard earned tax dollars out of the government run school, which we don’t like and lets us use some of our money the way we choose. The comments regarding everyone being equal. Yes we should all be given the same opportunities and we are all equal as human beings in the eyes of God, but one of the major issues and problems we face today is that government wants to make everyone “have the same” and that will never be the case unless we are under a different type of government which I doubt will ever happen. The vouchers are about choice not about upper class and lower class. Once again, someone not understanding the need of choice in our schools. If the government run school is failing our children why can’t we shop around and why can’t we use some of our tax dollars for a voucher to help us out? We shop around at stores and companies to get the best price and best deal-right? It is a “free market” and I’m a capitalist and that’s how the schools should be run like a business. Oh, I’m going down a path that some on here may not approve of!

    Comment by Bonnie — June 18, 2008 @ 12:48 pm | Reply

  35. You know what Barabara you want to start pointing fingers. Start to do what you are to do as a town councilor. I have seen nothing from you either except to rehash what information has all ready been presented to you. What does the 1904 building cost? I have heard that you know the information given to you by the school committee was correct you just won’t admit you were wrong. Nonsense is trying to bring to life a building because of sentimental values to some people. I have heard that you have mentioned tearing the building down and putting an addition on the 1964 building,something that was presented years ago. What am I doing on the school board, listening to the same old crap I have listened to for years now.

    I am happy for George and how his family has made out, all though missing the point. You and your wife George are different than a single mother of a couple of children trying to do it on her own. What choices does she have? If she is all ready struggling to pay the bills?

    But nonsense that we don’t need to help our families equal; that coming from a Town Councilor and someone so big on EQUALIZATION. I see a big problem with this. Obviously you have decide that this is something you want all ready with out any questions asked or answered. Interesting.

    Comment by bpetit — June 18, 2008 @ 1:17 pm | Reply

  36. Bonnie,

    why should paretns have to take out student loans to help put their children through elementary or high school? I just don’t understnd this thinking. It is not that I don’t understand school choice. And I know you are for it as your shild goes to a school of choice so it will certainly help you. I would be all over it to. I am tyring to get answers not what peoples feelings are. I know how some of you that come onthsi blog feel about Chariho. I agree that we need to find a better way to bring our grades up, get studetns more proficient in math, reading and writing. I still am not saying one way or the other if this is good. I have read a lot just the last couple of days about vouchers. The one thing I see is people that are for it write articles supporting it and people against it write articles that are against. All I am saying is that if we are to do it we need to look at all the angles. I am sure Bill has done a lot of this or he wouldn’t have presented it. Can someone tell me; what they thought of the presentation the other night? Was it informative? And maybe a break down of what was said?

    Comment by bpetit — June 18, 2008 @ 1:28 pm | Reply

  37. Hi!
    We need to stem the tide of problems regarding our schools. It is unfortunate we condone the problems. I remember exchanges with Barry Ricci about sending kids to private schools saves money he disagreed.
    The school dept. needs an effective game plan to make improvements in multiple areas. I support an outside management study dealing with how management is done in the district and how we can improve operations. We need to be concerned about growing school budgets it was not many budget cycles back it was in the low 40 million dollar range. The school committee needs improvement as a body but the current one has improved than those in recent past years. Next week there will be filings for local office including school committee. You can only file between June 23 and June 25, no later than 4 P.M., the last day. You can print out a form on the Internet if you need be at ,.
    The aspect of school choice is UNDENIABLY a rproblem to the current school establishment in keeping their student population in public schools. With choice, a number of people never using that option before will take adantage of it.
    Getting back to Mr. Ricci’s feeling money is not saved by children going to private schools what is your response?

    Comment by Scott Bill Hirst — June 18, 2008 @ 1:32 pm | Reply

  38. Scoot and all that come out here. My position on the school committee has no bearing on the voucher system we are talking about. If it is best for the children and the parents than it is worth doing. IF IT IS BEST. Two months ago pulling out of Chariho and forming our own school system was best. Lets look at this voucher system and not just jump in and say it is the best thing becasue people are upset with Chariho or Charlestown or Richmond or ths sun is out or whatever else. Lets make sure it is fair for everyone and that “OUR” children will benefit from this too. We know the tax payers will.

    Comment by bpetit — June 18, 2008 @ 1:45 pm | Reply

  39. sorry Scott Bill Hirst I spelled your name wrong in the last post.

    Comment by bpetit — June 18, 2008 @ 1:46 pm | Reply

  40. Hi everyone,
    I’m not sure Bob’s point on the 1904 building? Kaestle Boos issued a report a few years ago which itemized what needed to be done to make the 1904 suitable for continued occupation by students. The mandated items were around $600,000 and the recommended items were around the same. Even with prices going up I can’t imagine the cost today to have the 1904 up and running would exceed $2,000,000. A school the size of the 1904 building would probably cost $20,000,000 or more to build from scratch. If I’m missing something please clarify? I have no affection for the building. I went to Hope Valley School and really knew nothing about the 1904 building until I joined the ad hoc committee. To me it is a waste to allow a $20,000,000 school building just sit there because we don’t want to spend $2,000,000 to open the doors. I think the idea of the 1904 becoming available for a charter or private is excellent. I know you already dedicate a lot of time to town and school issues Bob but the info on the 1904 buildings has been discussed at the ad hoc group meetings.

    The school voucher discussion is very interesting to me. After my 7 year old daughter has been in Hope Valley School the last two years my wife and me have decided we can’t risk her education any more and will enroll her in St. Pius next year. Her teachers at Hope Valley have been amazingly good. Removing our daughter has to do with what the teachers are forced to teach and the time spent on teaching things we want to teach. We would like the school to teach the things we can’t. Instead they don’t teach enough of the academic stuff and too much of the values type of things. Plus the whole math thing has us scared to death as our son had to be tutored to make up for the bad math. Lots of his classmates never got tutored and will not be able to do high school math very well. Forget about college math. We don’t trust the public schools anymore to do what is right for the kids. The fighting to keep 5th and 6th graders in with the teenagers is enough reason we need to get our daughter out of Chariho.

    We will be paying with a credit card. We are not low income but we don’t have $4000 lying around waiting to be spent. I support vouchers because I want every kid to have the chance to get out of Chariho if their parents think this is best. If vouchers come and we don’t get reimbursed or don’t qualify to have our daugher’s school paid for I will still keep her away from Chariho and pay on credit. I won’t be angry that poorer parents get help and I don’t. This is one time when we really can do something for the kids.

    I don’t want to get bogged down in the debate but that’s my two cents.

    Comment by Jim LaBrosse — June 18, 2008 @ 1:56 pm | Reply

  41. Bob:Most single mothers would still have the option of marriage. I would expect to see more single parents exercise this option as public benefits are cut.However,they should avoid entering abusive relationships as a means to escape poverty.A good number of these single mothers seem to have “phantom husbands” or boyfriends who exercise considerable control over their lives without offering much financial or emotional support to the family.Some people refer to these boy/men as “sperm donors”.

    Comment by george abbott — June 18, 2008 @ 1:59 pm | Reply

  42. George makes a great point about accreditation. He as a parent was the final arbiter of what was a good school for his child. And if I’m not mistaken, I believe young Mr. Abbott did very well in college. So I would prefer the parent and not a government entity (regardless of size) being the authority of where a child could go.

    As for costs – there was nothing decided on how the program could be run. The town council asked me to get some enrollment numbers and asked the attorney to look into the legality of it.

    As for how much $$ would be used – Technically, there are some areas that use all funds (local plus state) and could offer vouchers in the full amount of $12,000+ (or whatever the public schools are charging). We set our ballpark lower because 1) we didn’t want the battle of using state funds and 2) we could automatically save the town money. Using only local funds we would have a maximum of about $8000. Besides, there are schools whose tuition is well below the $12,000. St. Pius as one example is only $4000. I suspect the Warwick school George mentioned is probably under the $8000 figure.

    As for added costs to the other towns – technically, if this were a normal business, its costs would go down as the number of customers went down. But the school isn’t that responsive, they tend to keep employees on longer than necessary. As we saw in the last school committee meeting – we have 4 deans of students to handle behavior issues, we just applied for a grant to hire someone specifically for behavior issues in 8th and 9th grade (and when the grant runs out the employee will be on the budget) – and we want to hire a full time cop (SRO – another example of how we got a grant to hire someone and when the grant ran out we kept the person on the payroll).

    Our enrollment is dropping but we keep adding people. So yes, if many students left due to vouchers, it would be up to Chariho to adjust costs or they will just pass it on to Charlestown and Richmond. Then perhaps those towns will put the pressure on Chariho to start acting like a efficient business.

    A perfect example – Bob P tried to cut some of the deans of students but we were told we couldn’t because they were in contract. So we tried to change the contracts so we could fire them (without having to pay a year or two severance). The superintendent refused to do it, even writing us a memo saying we shouldn’t do it because the employees need job security. The system is set to protect the employees, not the students. Financial pressures could change that.

    Comment by Bill Felkner — June 18, 2008 @ 2:06 pm | Reply

  43. If vouchers do nothing else but force Richmond and Charlestown to think twice about the management at Chariho then vouchers will be a huge success. Isn’t Hopkinton tired of being painted the bad guy because our families have reached the breaking point?

    The good parents with the financial resources (or credit lines) to get their kids the hell out of Chariho have already done it. The good parents without the financial resources are stuck watching their kids be indoctrinated by Chariho with constructivist math, discussion of sexual behavior, and who knows what else. They don’t have the money and all they can do is helplessly watch their children’s opportunity for a decent education go out the window.

    Vouchers are for the kids. Saving money is great but even if vouchers are a break even proposition how can we deny families the choice to pick the schools they feel are best?

    Hopkinton has given Chariho a chance. Then another. Then another. Spending constantly goes up even with less students. More and more employees are brought onto the government dole every year. They hide numbers and make excuses for piss poor education results. Why has Hopkinton has tolerated it this long? Vouchers gets us out from under. It’s about time!

    Comment by Real Question — June 18, 2008 @ 2:29 pm | Reply

  44. George I won’t even go down that road. That is a little furhter than I think this blog should have taken this.

    Tahnk you Bill for answering some of the questions. So with a vocher system can we get more for low income families without them having to put it on credit cards or take out loans? (Jim I am not saying that you are low income, but just using the credit card freference.) I think the loans for education are high enough now for college and would hate to see them start earlier. But you are saying there are funds out there if we decide to go the other way and 1) battle the state and 2) not look at this as the town saving money but educating our children? This is good to know.

    St. Pius is only $4000 but when they get to Prout it is now about $10,000.

    Comment by bpetit — June 18, 2008 @ 2:29 pm | Reply

  45. “In the event that enrollment in the said district school system has not been accomplished on October 1 of any year, operating expenses for the ensuing year or portion thereof shall be apportioned among the member towns in proportion to the ratio that the total number of students enrolled in grades kindergarten through twelve (12),
    inclusive, residing in each of said towns and receiving education at such town’s expense as of said October 1 , bears to the total number of such students in the entire district.”

    Does this not include the children of family receiving vouchers as the students are receiving education at the town’s expense?

    Comment by TownsExpense — June 18, 2008 @ 2:30 pm | Reply

  46. Real Question

    “The good parents with the financial resources (or credit lines) to get their kids the hell out of Chariho have already done it. The good parents without the financial resources are stuck watching their kids be indoctrinated by Chariho with constructivist math, discussion of sexual behavior, and who knows what else. They don’t have the money and all they can do is helplessly watch their children’s opportunity for a decent education go out the window.”

    This is exactly what I have been trying to say. And I think we just need to make sure everyone is covered the same way or we are just giving a few the choice of schools and not all.

    Hey lets face it like it or not we have some people in around that can’t afford heat, don’t know where their next meal is coming from and can’t afford to buy new clothes for their children. Does this make them bad? NO! so they deserve the chance to send their children to other schools like Prout. It is just my opinion. I think we need to take care of all of our students.

    Comment by bpetit — June 18, 2008 @ 2:37 pm | Reply

  47. Maybe if elementary schools are much less expensive (4000 vs. 10,000) then we start off with vouchers through 8th grade or something like that? I think most kids already at Chariho for a long time like high school kids are probably going to resist moving to another school anyway. Plus most of the bad stuff has already begun so there’s not much hope for another school to save them from a bad education. As Felkner said there are many options to consider. Letting parents choose will turn the situation completely on its head and we should do it but we should try to get it right straight away. We’ve had enough kids harmed by Chariho’s bad decisions and we shouldn’t do the same thing to them ourselves.

    Comment by Real Question — June 18, 2008 @ 2:44 pm | Reply

  48. Yes, there are many ways it has been done. The HTC seemed to be leaning towards a figure that would provide something for as many as possible. Technically, you could provide $15,000 vouchers but only provide them for families under a certain income range (determined by how many you could afford to cover). Those are all details to be worked out with pen and paper – need to provide 2-3 scenarios and make a decision from there.

    You can grandfather OUT current non-chariho students, set a means test to include only low income, set a achievement test that only allows special education students, set a lottery that only takes so many based on lottery pulls. There are also variations of funding. You can create a voucher to be passed to the school. You can offer tax deductions – taking the money off the property tax and then the family pays the school directly. there are also many phased in programs that allow the town to ensure savings by limiting liabilities. Many many options.

    Comment by Bill Felkner — June 18, 2008 @ 3:15 pm | Reply

  49. Bill there are a lot of options any suggestions on where we can go to read up on some of these options?

    Comment by bpetit — June 18, 2008 @ 3:34 pm | Reply

  50. No Bob, parents don’t take out student loans for a private/Christian school. Our school, for example, has what is called a “schoolarship fund” We have many many fundraisers done so by the volunteers and since we are a non profit, all of the money that we make on these fundraisers which is a lot goes to this fund and when parents fill out the form for assistance, they decide how much assistance to give the family based on their income. So, none of these families is ever turned down and they get a lower tuition. That helps them. We would not qualify for such a program which is great to be blessed in this way, but it would be nice if some of my tax dollars could be used for the school that I choose. It’s hard for me to swallow… the amount of my tax dollars that goes towards the education of Chariho students and the horrific results, after all of this money is spent. I just know that the standards would improve at Chariho if some folks left the system for a better education. It’s not that they don’t have enough funds…my goodness, I had no idea what it costs per pupil per year. They certainly don’t use that money wisely! I used to live in Maryland and the Howard County School system which is one of the best in the country does not spend nearly what we spend per year per child, the teachers aren’t paid as much as teachers at Chariho and they have an 80 some percentage of graduates definetly going to college and their test scores are much higher. Now it would be hard to believe that ALL students at Chariho aren’t interested in learning. Right now, there is a need to be educated in that school because folks don’t have a choice. If school vouchers were available, that school system would have no choice than to remedy the serious problem. If enough people opted for a beter education, the responsibility would fall upon the teachers, administration, etc… So all would benefit! Do you think I would choose private school, pay that tuition plus the high tax I pay for Chariho when I DON’T EVEN USE THE SCHOOL? Each family that chooses a private/Christian school should be given a voucher, regardless of their income. High income earners should be given the same voucher as the lower income family. For example if there are 100 families that opt out of Chariho, possibly each family could be given, for example $1,000.00 per year, per child for the school of their choice. Or another amount to be determined, but all should receive the voucher. Also, those UNIONS would have to go so that when there are less students, a position or 2 or 3 would be cut instead of taxpayers still paying for these unneeded positions as well as benefits. These unions are not helping our children. That is why they get away with teaching and not teaching what needs to be taught and putting their own prespective on these impressionable students! But that is a whole other issue! Let me know what I can do to help!!! I’m definetly going to research how other States and schools manage their voucher system.

    Comment by Bonnie — June 18, 2008 @ 4:41 pm | Reply

  51. One more thing…those that don’t qualify for the voucher if based on income, should receive a tax credit. That’s is how it is implemented in some States.

    Comment by Bonnie — June 18, 2008 @ 4:51 pm | Reply

  52. Bob,
    Three top groups that I know of – 1) Alliance for School Choice, 2) Milton and Rose Friedman Foundation, 3) Institute for Justice. Can google for addresses.

    As for ensuring help for low-mid income – we can decide to do whatever we want. We could offer a $20,000 voucher for everyone but we would need to raise taxes to do so. I was trying to create something that would provide for the most without a negative impact on the budget. Private schools are, except for a few exceptions, less than public. So, mathematically, there is no reason that we couldn’t offer a reasonable amount that would empower people with choice. But even if it does come to a point where there are a few that can’t afford to use the voucher because they couldn’t afford whatever difference there would be between the voucher and the tuition, then the worst case scenario is that they stay at Chariho. With lowered enrollments, Chariho as worst would be the same school with less crowding.

    I appreciate your passion. I would suggest contacting your representative (local and at the state house) and express your views. When you contact the town council let them know if you have the time to volunteer for a committee to work on this. I have offered my time and would love to see something proposed in time for the November referendum.

    Comment by Bill Felkner — June 18, 2008 @ 5:04 pm | Reply

  53. Hi!
    Bill Felkner needs to be credited for bringing this debate to the table. I hope but not necessarily expect a logical debate on these issues. We have well over 20 Town Council members and school committee members, what will they do on this issue? Then add the number of candidates coming up in this year’s mix for town council and school committee in our three town region.
    How can pro children, pro education people CONDONE some of the facts coming out of our schools? Is it just to protect the education bureaucracy?

    Comment by Scott Bill Hirst — June 18, 2008 @ 5:28 pm | Reply

  54. SCOTT-

    Comment by what? — June 18, 2008 @ 5:39 pm | Reply

  55. Would some one tell me WHY Mr. Petit believes that vouchers may be tried if “it is best”? AND who is to determine that? Some namless person with his/her own agenda? Needing 10 years of “study”? By the way, if a “single mother” is having a struggle, she should have thought of that BEFORE becoming a mother! I have had quite enough of the burden of every yound person determined to “let the state take care of me”, and depending on some one else supporting them. Lets have some responsiblity for our actions, instead of thinking that a “sliding scale” should be integrated depending on earning. ENOUGH ALREADY!

    Good Grief! Give vouchers a try! Consider a $6000 or $8000 yearly stipend for each child educated at another school. Private schools usually provide “steps” in tuitions dependent on salary, and that certainly will level the palying field for parents with lower incomes.

    Finally, vouchers have no bearing on the CHARIHO Act, and is at the discretion of the TOWN. The school committee has NO SAY in this! (THANK GOODNESS FOR SMALL FAVORS)

    Comment by Dorothy Gardiner — June 18, 2008 @ 7:23 pm | Reply

  56. #45 TownsExpense,

    Your question is a good one and came up in Bill’s presentation to the council. The October 1st date speaks to the prior year’s number of students on October 1st when determining percentages of students by town.

    One of the reasons we discussed phasing in vouchers was because of this issue – it will take 2 or 3 years to determine our ‘new’ percentage of students for the Chariho district. As the students use other schools and have not told Chariho they are not returning, Chariho needs to use the prior year’s number of students to establish percentages between towns. I would assume if Chariho knows they are not returning, then they would not count that student in the rolls.

    But Dot is right, Chariho has nothing to determine here. But I do not know the process involved for the town other than to begin the discussions and the funding options.

    Comment by BarbaraC — June 18, 2008 @ 9:00 pm | Reply

  57. All you folks are better than reading the news. Some with information and some with questions and at the end of the day it is refreshing that George A, Bob P, Dorothy G and Barbara C are engaged in such a thoughtful debate.

    I also realized/again that Bill Felkner is the real deal. All any tri town voter wants (no spin) is the best education at the cheapest/lowest price.

    A long way to go to our young folks treated right. Choice folks that are paying attention and spread the word may have a outlet over what is a more than perceived disappointment under our current standards.

    more questions to be answered and it seems that some are ready to answer them.

    Thank you Committee members Abbott and Pettit and Mr. Felkner and Councilor Capalbo and Bonnie who may provide the yeahs and nays of a ‘charter school parent’ it sounds as I mentioned as an earlier supporter (based on my knowledge at the time) doable.

    Comment by James Hirst — June 18, 2008 @ 9:10 pm | Reply

  58. Bob,
    Are you saying that if a single mother with low income can’t afford to go to Prout with a voucher then you won’t support the program? You would restrict choice for 90% of the people because 10% cant have it?

    And, again, what is teh worst case scenario? The parent you are placing above all others will still be at Chariho.

    Comment by Bill Felkner — June 18, 2008 @ 9:25 pm | Reply

  59. I’m no fan of unions but I have to point out that a lot of the problems at Chariho are not the making of the unions (as Bonnie seems to think). A prime example is the awful math curriculum. If you want to blame anyone for that, blame the superintendent, Ricci. You can blame the unions because you think the teachers make too much money or have better benefits than you or because giving elementary school teachers tenure is a stupid idea. That’s fine, I agree with some of those statements and there is some validity to those positions. But Ricci is responsible for Investigations Math and the teachers hate it. Don’t start ragging on them for not “teaching right”. Sure, there are bad teachers in Chariho. But there are good teachers who are forced to teach a curriculum they hate.

    Now, as for you not using Chariho, tough titties. Following that logic, I don’t use the Police Department. So I think I should get a voucher for my own personal defense. Or a rebate on my taxes. Obviously I am being sarcastic. Just because you don’t use the schools does not mean you should not have some responsibility for ensuring the education of the future generation. Most people who make that assinine argument (similar to “I don’t have kids so why should I pay for educating kids”) went to public schools. You got the benefit, a benefit paid for by strangers and you’re going to give that benefit to a next generation of strangers. Whether you like it or not.

    If you want to argue for vouchers, that’s great. But neither of those qualify as valid arguments.

    Comment by Fat Albert — June 18, 2008 @ 9:27 pm | Reply

  60. You are dating yourself Albert – I haven’t heard that slang in a long time. (And I don’t know how to make the smiley face).

    Comment by BarbaraC — June 18, 2008 @ 9:47 pm | Reply

  61. Although I am a supporter of educational choice, I cannot support a plan of income redistribution. If an income test is required for a voucher system, then I would be unable to support any Marxist philosophies applied to the program. I believe in our Republic and to support a further erosion of its principles is unconscionable.

    Comment by RS — June 18, 2008 @ 9:53 pm | Reply

  62. Income should not be a test.

    The weighted scale idea is an interesting approach. My concern is with children with 504’s and IEP’s and whether choice outside of the public school system is offered fairly.

    I once read that the initial couple years of a voucher program does not show substantial improvements in test scores. (Keep in mind that with voucher transitioning, schools did not falter, either.) The test scores improve after this period of time. I will research this and get back to you. My recollection is that in Florida, this was the case.

    Be careful of your sources. There are a lot of special interest groups that are threatened by vouchers. They are not looking at them objectively. Read the articles, but note which group authored or funded it. My interpretation of the Friedman Foundation is that it is completely objective and has nothing to gain from success or failure regarding vouchers.

    As a community, we are all responsible for educating our kids whether we use the system or not. The key is to control spending to not put any unnecessary burden on the public.

    For the budget, Chariho’s great advantage is the 3 town setup. All they have to do is to get 2 towns on board. Regarding bonds, the veto is all that Hopkinton has to have some control over its destiny. As we see with the budget, we have no power to stop the speeding locomotive.

    Vouchers may be another option for our children and for the taxpayers, as well.

    Some of my questions in post #5 have not been answered. Is anyone in the know?

    Comment by Lois Buck — June 19, 2008 @ 8:54 am | Reply

  63. Here is a research article that I find supports the use of vouchers. The paper compares multiple years of data, and shows the effects of vouchers from their introduction to their removal. Enjoy!

    Comment by Lois Buck — June 19, 2008 @ 9:18 am | Reply

  64. Lois,
    You have to be careful about what you read on both sides of the issue. Most articles have some sort of slant to either bolster their position or to denigrate the position of the opposing side, much as we see here on this blog. We, as parents and as taxpayers, need to know the issues from both sides, not just one but trying to come up with clear and concise pros and cons is not easy. One side wants to show nothing but the positive aspects and the other wants to show nothing but the negatice aspects. We end up having to dig through all the muddy water and try to arrive at what is best for our children first. That’s my main concern.

    Comment by CharihoParent — June 19, 2008 @ 9:18 am | Reply

  65. I’m still waiting to hear the negative to letting parents choose. The worse thing we’ve seen is that choice doesn’t have better results. When the worse the NEA can say is vouchers don’t make education better well then we’re onto something.

    The part which is indisputable is parents can leave their kids in Chariho if they choose. If other schools do worse than Chariho but parents make the decision, then maybe they rate schools differntly. I have no problem letting parents decide what is best for their kids. Why does anyone in Chariho think they should be making these decisions and not parents?

    Comment by Real Question — June 19, 2008 @ 9:45 am | Reply

  66. I was stating that the “Teacher’s Union” is an obstacle. The fact that someone stated that there are less students and the teachers were kept on with salary and benefits because they have a “contract” didn’t seem right to me. I have no problem with teachers making a good salary and having good benefits. Most do a good job and YES it is the curriculum which is what we’ve been talking about! I’m not saying that taxpayers monies shouldn’t be used in the government run schools, but when a school is failing, such as Chariho, we the people must stand up and make other choices and taxpayers dollars should be used in the form of a voucher or tax credit for those not qualifying for a voucher who which to send their children to a better school. And another point is… I would send my child to Chariho if the curriculum was up to a higher standard and the morals were better and certain groups and clubs were not permitted. But it seems, anything goes in Public Schools. They are allowed to do whatever they want. Nobody paid for my education, except my parents because I went to a Private Christian school. (Fat Albert? assumes that I went to a public school) If our police dept. or other depts., paid for by our taxes weren’t protecting us or doing their jobs properly, I’m sure folks would question that as well. Not sure of the logic on that one?! Also, I’d like to point out that I’m not complaining about the teacher’s wages/benefits because they earn more than me or have benefits better than I. I’m quite fine and am a “Full time Mom/Stay at home Mom” with no complaints. I don’t think like that. I’m stating that if the spending per child is adequate, which it is and the teachers are paid well, which they are the highest paid, etc…why do we even have this problem. Are ALL of the children not willing to learn. If the curriculum is so sub standard, why are we having the low test scores and low percentage of students planning to attend college. Info. I’ve obtained from the stats that I’ve looked up. I agree with Scott, the education bureaucracy is being protected! I also agree with “RS” This can’t become a redistribution of wealth issue. From the tone of some of these comments, I’m getting a bad feeling regarding that. Most of the comments are on target and Bill I will look into this further. Thanks

    Comment by Bonnie — June 19, 2008 @ 9:51 am | Reply

  67. Bill I am not against vouchers. And I didn’t say that I wouldn’t support them. I am just asking questions as to how vouchers work, how we would set up vouchers, how to determine who and how people get them, If we have/had an idea on how to help out families if they couldn’t afford it ( thank you Bill and Bonnie for your insight) and transporation costs, these are just a few questions I think should be and need to be answered. I don’t agree with Dot Gardiner and her thoughts on single mothers, I think that was totally disrespectful of anyone in that postion. Dot, am I to assume that people should have thought twice about buying a house if they couldn’t afford the mortgage and taxes; so now they are in foreclosure? I DON”T THINK SO. But maybe we should remeber your comments about your fellow towns people if you should ever need help. Anyway that is off the subject, but I can’t beleive I am hearing some comments like this. I guess I am to assume that a lot of you have made your mind up and not matter what you would just jump on the voucher system. I am not like that and I want to look it over and make the best educated decision I can make. I am open for this lets see what comes out of some of the information and sub committee first.

    Comment by bpetit — June 19, 2008 @ 11:05 am | Reply

  68. Of course people should have thought of what they could afford before buying a house. A mortgage, unlike taxes, are predictable and figuring out whether you should buy a house or not is simple math and commonsense. Except for people who lost their jobs (and unemployment is still low) then yes, foreclosures are most often the result of bad decisions and the rest of us shouldn’t be paying for other people’s bad choices.

    The problem with attitudes like Petit’s is people begin to think they don’t need to be responsible for their choices. When you are held responsible then you are more likely to make crappy decisions. I have no problem holding single parents responsible for their terrible choices. Maybe the next generation will think twice before making the same mistakes.

    Notice how Petit isn’t ready to jump on the bandwagon of vouchers which give parents control. But without knowing how much RYSE costs or how well it teaches kids he has no problems letting Ricci control the education of RYSE kids. Petit does jump in without thinking but only when it is time to stick up for government control and not control by the regular people. He makes the same excuse about keeping 5th and 6th graders with the teenagers.

    Comment by Real Question — June 19, 2008 @ 11:32 am | Reply

  69. NO Real Question you are totally wrong on you comments and have no clue or basis for what you are even saying. You are also reckless if you think that just jumping into something without research from people like Bill and Bonnie to answer questions that not only I have but memebers of the TC have. When I mentioned the mortgage; that is exactly what I was talking about. People losing their jobs, things happen to people; not all single mothers are single mothers becasue of bad decisions. Not all people are losing their homes becasue of bad decisions from simple math or common sense. Those comments are foolish. I do realize their are people out there that abuse the system and look for a free ride. But that is not the case with all people and they should have every right to make a decision where their child goes to school as anyone. I think Bill and Bonnie both have given ways these people can acheive this.

    Comment by bpetit — June 19, 2008 @ 12:58 pm | Reply

  70. This is off the subject of school vouchers but I had to get my two cents in. Let’s not forget that many of the foreclosures are a result of folks that have home equity loans. When it gets out of control, then they loose their homes. Unemployment is only 5.5% so that is not the major reason of the housing foreclosures. Also folks being taken in by these loans that had stipulations, etc…and now they can’t pay the bill!

    Comment by Bonnie — June 19, 2008 @ 3:10 pm | Reply

  71. I was just using that as an example saying that things happen in people lives that can change where their at. Could be loss of job or maybe health reasons. It doesn’t always have to be becasue they are wrong or bad people, just unfortunate circumstances. Thats all. And I am just trying to watch out for those people as well as the rest. We may not even have this situaton come up. But how do you handle it if it does, I guess that is really all I was asking.

    Comment by bpetit — June 19, 2008 @ 4:17 pm | Reply

  72. Bob: What I am saying is that we support (too often) a state, federal and local govrnment as replacement for parental responsibilities. Note that I stated that Welfare should be a shelter…a shelter from a storm of hard luck, and catastrophic happenings. When given, welfare should support with an expectation of responsibility and a rapid exit from public and private support as soon as possible.
    Look at the poor people who have just become a “statistic”, and are now FORCED to seek help. You will find that they try their darndest to find a job (any job) and support their children. In their case, their payments should meet their current needs.

    I DO NOT support those who determine that their best bet is a lifetime of public support, and governmental support as a substitute for responsiblity. Single women with three, four, or five children with different fathers should NOT be encouraged or expected to remain on welfare and subsidies.

    Those experiencing an unexpected downturn should be supported for a short period of time to allow them, with dignity, to get their feet back on the ground. When my children went to college, we INSISTED that they work. While they juggled assignments, work, and studying, one girl had a dorm mate who laughed at her, proclaining that she was being “rehabilitated” at state (and my) expense. She not only did not work, she would not work while attending school. She never graduated, partly because she did not attend class very often.

    So, I have no problem HELPING people, I have a problem supporting irresponsible, lazy people who have nothing better to do then stand on street corners during the day when they should be in school or working. After paying as much as we pay for education, we should not have people who are not employable.

    Comment by Dorothy Gardiner — June 19, 2008 @ 4:32 pm | Reply

  73. Dot I do agree with you on that, I don’t think people should get a free ride for life. The point I was trying to make was the latter.

    Comment by bpetit — June 19, 2008 @ 5:18 pm | Reply

  74. We reap what we sow. Several Gloucester, Massachusetts teenage girls made a pregnancy pact so they could raise children together. I heard that none of them are older than 16. 17 teenage girls in the Gloucester school system have gotten pregant this year.

    The Gloucester school system has reacted by asking to provide contraceptives to teenagers without parental approval. Several Massachusetts schools already bypass parents. The Gloucester school reportedly have administered 150 pregnancy tests this year alone. Parents are not notified when their daughter ask for a pregnancy test.

    So let’s understand the thinking of the school system. Teenage girls choose to get pregnant and the school wants to provide contraception. They ignore the fact that girls wanting to get pregnant would not use birth control. The school is using this sad situation to further their values agenda. As it is they give pregnancy tests at taxpayer expense without telling parents. Maybe if the parents had been told they could have figured out their daughter were trying to get pregnant?

    In addition to the 150 pregnancy tests, the school also provides at-school daycare. One person described student walking through the halls with strollers. How “cool”, huh? This is the kind of nonsense that many parents want to avoid when they pay for government schools and then private schools for their own children on top of everything else. This perverse and mixed up world is what we have created with our government schools. We should all be ashamed of what we’ve done to our children. We won’t be ashamed because we have elminated shame. Welcome to Mr. Petit’s world.

    Comment by Curious Resident — June 19, 2008 @ 6:13 pm | Reply

  75. We reap what we sow. Several Gloucester, Massachusetts teenage girls made a pregnancy pact so they could raise children together. I heard that none of them are older than 16. 17 teenage girls in the Gloucester school system have gotten pregant this year.

    The Gloucester school system has reacted by asking to provide contraceptives to teenagers without parental approval. Several Massachusetts schools already bypass parents. The Gloucester school reportedly have administered 150 pregnancy tests this year alone. Parents are not notified when their daughter ask for a pregnancy test.

    So let’s understand the thinking of the school system. Teenage girls choose to get pregnant and the school wants to provide contraception. They ignore the fact that girls wanting to get pregnant would not use birth control. The school is using this sad situation to further their values agenda. As it is they give pregnancy tests at taxpayer expense without telling parents. Maybe if the parents had been told they could have figured out their daughter were trying to get pregnant?

    In addition to the 150 pregnancy tests, the school also provides at-school daycare. One person described student walking through the halls with strollers. How “cool”, huh? This is the kind of nonsense that many parents want to avoid when they pay for government schools and then private schools for their own children on top of everything else. This perverse and mixed up world is what we have created with our government schools. We should all be ashamed of what we’ve done to our children. We won’t be ashamed because we have elminated shame. Welcome to Mr. Petit’s world.

    Comment by Curious Resident — June 19, 2008 @ 6:14 pm | Reply

  76. Does Chariho provide pregnancy testing or contraceptives for kids? How about babysitting services? I wouldn’t doubt it. If they don’t we better be quiet or they will be sneaking it into the budget like they did with RYSE!

    Comment by Real Question — June 19, 2008 @ 9:21 pm | Reply

  77. CR your comments in # 75 again are just plain old stupid if nothing else. First, I don’t agree with the schools doing any tests on students without parents approval. They are still underage and should be under parents control. SO don’t put words in my mouth!!

    The next thing is if these parents who want control so much would step up and demand respect from their own children we wouldn’t be in the place we are today. I truly go on old values of “respecting your elders”. If you don’t have respect from your children at home I don’t care what school you send them to, they won’t have it there either. It all starts at home; I agreee, but the problem is there are so many out there that don’t want to deal with it. As these young chidren, have children these matters get worse.

    CR I have to say it sounds, atleast from what you proclaim, thta you have a good handle on your childrens lives. Where they are, what they do, who they hang with, I say kudos to you. I wish more parents were like that. The fact is that there are many out there that aren’t and this is why the schools and or Government has stepped in. Do I agree? No, but how do you change the thinking? I am appauled that young girls would make a pact to have babies so they can all raise them together. Yet we complain that we have sex education in school. Do you really think it is because of those classes that there is so much teenage sex? Doyou think these matters are any better in private schools? Do you not think there is drugs in these schools? If you think that than you really need to open your eyes to todays world. I would agree that you won’t find as much of it, but this stuff is there; private or public.

    RQ you are right if parents don’t start to pay attention and taking more control than that might be the next thing in the budget. Sad isn’t it. But look at it this way; it is not the school that gets the kids pregnant. I haven’t heard of any kids having intercourse in school, so maybe the parents should know where their children are.

    Comment by bpetit — June 20, 2008 @ 8:46 am | Reply

  78. We lack shame. Teenagers don’t give sex a second thought because their is no shame to having sex. There is probably more shame being a virgin than being sexually active. Why don’t children feel shame? Because schools and society give them rewards for bad behavior. Children crave attention and so what do we do? Act badly and we’ll give you attention…social programs.

    There was a day when doing drugs or getting pregnant resulted in a child being moved out of town or being sent to a school for wayward youths. Today we practically encourage these behaviors. No shame. You think children in 1950 didn’t know how to have sex? You think they had lower hormone levels? The difference is that in those days you were ashamed to have sex, never mind getting pregnant.

    As long as society continues to condone bad behavior by making life easier for those who behave badly, then we will reap what we sow. Mr. Petit may have high expectations for his own children, but by spending tax money make life easier for those children making terrible choices, he supports a continuation and expansion of the bad behavior he claims to deplore. He may not understand it, but this is problem his attitude creates.

    Comment by Curious Resident — June 20, 2008 @ 11:22 am | Reply

  79. Hi everyone, here goes my little forray into local politics.

    I did a little bit of research and I do agree that Hopkinton pays an unfair premium into the school district especially over Charlestown. However, I do not agree a simple 1/3, 1/3, 1/3 split – as Thurman wants – is fair to Charlestown either.

    The point of the matter being that Charlestown is a very rich/seaside community who’s rich families either live in Charlestown only half the year and don’t send their children to Chariho, or they send their children to private school. Unfortunately this scenario, as you know, enables the taxpayers of Charlestown to pay much less to Chariho since the bill sent to the towns is based off of enrollment, not the number of school aged children like most regional school systems. The burden falls to those who cannot afford to send their children to private school and since Hopkinton and Richmonds’ homes with children are much poorer per capita than Charlestown’s families with school-aged children – that burden falls on our shoulders.

    This brings up a great sticking point that Hopkinton should truly consider Felkner’s idea of vouchers to send our kids to private institutions or home schools. Not that it will reduce our tax burden much, however more Hopkinton children leaving the Chariho system would put the towns on a more even footing (at least Hopkinton, but not Richmond unless they followed suit).

    Perhaps the true solution though is to have the bill that is sent to the towns be based off of the number of school aged children in the town – not the number from said town attending the Chariho school system.

    I am a firm believer that it takes a village to raise a child, so I would not be opposed to a split based off of the entire population of the town as well (no free breaks for those who only live in Charlestown for the summer months and no free breaks for the elderly as well – there go my chances of ever running for public office).

    Have a nice day,

    Nate Washor

    Comment by njwashor — June 20, 2008 @ 11:23 am | Reply

  80. Have to admit that you lost my vote when you want the village raising my child. No thanks, it’s our (parents) job.

    Do you have children of your own Mr. Washor? If not, I’m confident that when you do you’ll come to realize that the village couldn’t possibly care about your children as much as you do. You and your wife must take the responsibility for your own children. If the village doesn’t harm your children, then that’s about the best you can expect from them.

    If you already have children and you still want the village raising your children, then leave me out of it. I’m busy raising my own.

    I do agree with your assessment of Charlestown’s population. It is clearly unfair to Hopkinton families to have Charlestown families vote for Chariho spending when it costs them less than half what it costs us. Who is surprised when Hopkinton rejects spending and Charlestown approves spending? Charlestown could build the biggest, most expensive schools in the state with their tax base. With enough votes from families paying very little they can force Hopkinton to pay for these expensive schools too.

    Unless all district families are on equal tax footing, then we will clash over spending. At this time Richmond chooses to spend like drunken sailors despite Chariho’s failures, so combined with low taxed Charlestown, the two towns can, and do, impoverish many Hopkinton families (and probably many Richmond families). When I’m paying $5000 in taxes, my equivalent in Charlestown is paying $2300. I will never be able to afford as much school as my Charlestown friends. Why this isn’t easily understood is unexplained?

    Comment by Curious Resident — June 20, 2008 @ 11:49 am | Reply

  81. CharihoParent,

    Regarding your answer to my post, my concern is to be careful of those that are not objective of the situation. The NEA and the AFT are not objective. Unless they have pure statistics that are truly unbiased, I would likely not hold a candle to their opinion.

    The Friedman Foundation link I provided provides data. What is remarkable about this data is the drastic changes before, during, and after the vouchers were initiated. If the resulting changes were minimal, then I would have to argue that the vouchers may not have been the catalyst, but the data changes were significant.

    To me, everyone has some agenda. The NEA and the AFT will do anything to benefit their union members and themselves. Oversimplifying their agenda, I would say that the Friedman Foundation is looking to provide free market choice for parents. And vouchers is one of those ways.

    Those that would side with the unions can provide their links with substantiated data. As long as it is not manipulated to control the outcome, it is worth looking at. Post it, and we can look at it. However, I will not read anything that has an opinion without substantiated facts. That is purely emotionalism, and that is what got this country in the mess that it is in regarding constructivist math and the middle school movement.

    Comment by Lois Buck — June 20, 2008 @ 12:40 pm | Reply

  82. CR I just hope and pray that nothing ever happens to your child/chidren, I really do. I am not even sure where you are coming from saying that I condone any of this that happens with children but I do know it is out there and trust me If I had a magic wand I would wave it. All that you have said still doesn’t change the fact that this stuff happens in private/charter schools also so I am not sure what this has to do with vouchers?

    Comment by bpetit — June 20, 2008 @ 1:31 pm | Reply

  83. Lois,
    I don’t disagree with anything that you’ve said. My point was to show people that there are arguements on one side and the other. Some are biased, some are not. And yes, the NEA and AFT are very biased, in fact I would go on to say that the leadership of both unions are not even truly concerned about the teachers, they are more concerned for themselves than anyone else.If there is no teacher’s union, they are out of job. Which is a might fine idea in my opinion.

    Comment by CharihoParent — June 20, 2008 @ 1:41 pm | Reply

  84. Dear Curious Resident,

    I do have a child and I still believe it takes a village to raise her.

    The cost of education is out of control, but there’s no quick or easy way of changing that – therefore in order to educate our youth the whole village must indeed contribute to the child’s education (monetarily). Your tone sounds to me that by my saying “it takes a village to raise a child” you think I want my neighbor to do the teaching, and the other neighbor to babysit. That is an blatant misunderstanding/twisting of the obvious meaning of my quote (you must be a politician).

    And to elaborate further, when you state that you are busy raising your own children all by yourself – you either mean that you pay for their private education or you home-school (which is great – I just hope you’re education level is high enough to teach them through senior year AP calculus and physics and can afford to stay home during the day to teach them). And if you pay for their private education, I do understand your apparent frustration as the cost (that should be spread across the village – in my opinion, of course) must be driving you to poverty. Hence my support of vouchers.

    And the question begs to be asked… did you go to public or private school? Did your parents pay 100% of your education costs during the time you spent in school (not through taxes spread out over years of commitment). I highly doubt that as well.

    Comment by njwashor — June 20, 2008 @ 1:43 pm | Reply

  85. CR one more thing. It is understood that Hopkinton pays more in taxes than Charlestown. We aren’t that stupid. But even Lois Buck made the point at time on here that this is the way all districts are made up, even in nearby CT. they are having this same problem. That is not what Nate or most anyone is saying. What we are saying is that yes it is unfair, but if you or I were living in Charlestown we wouldn’t think it would be unfair. Why this isn’t easily understood is unexplained?

    Comment by bpetit — June 20, 2008 @ 1:48 pm | Reply

  86. You misunderstand me as well Mr. Washor. I have no problem with the community supporting the academic education of children. Successful societies require an educated populace. It is to our individual benefit to have an educated society.

    You use the words “it takes a village”. These words are most commonly associated with a book written by Hillary Clinton. In her “It Takes a Village” book she goes well beyond society educating children and discusses the village approach to all manner of indoctrination of children. She definitely advocates the village teaching values which traditionally have been taught at home where parents decide what values to teach. Maybe you chose your words poorly, but if you embrace Ms. Clinton’s view of “the village”, then we have very different perspectives on parenting.

    In either case, we should have a choice as to which educational enviroments to place our children. If you like the village teaching values such as dietary choices, sexual education, sexual educational, and all manner of subjective topics, then feel free to pick the school which takes care of this for you. Please don’t stop my family from having alternative choices where education is focused on academics.

    Good luck to you and your family.

    Comment by Curious Resident — June 20, 2008 @ 1:56 pm | Reply

  87. Hillary did not coin the phrase. And I am NO supporter of hers.

    Comment by njwashor — June 20, 2008 @ 2:00 pm | Reply

  88. My sentiments relate to vouchers to the extent that opposition to vouchers is based on the inevitable outcome of poor choices. In other words, I don’t care if vouchers put single mothers at a disadvantage. Their disadvantages are a result of terrible choices they made and the rest of the children need to receive the message that terrible decisions have consequences. Until we embrace consequences, children will feel free to do whatever feels good because there is no cost. Get it?

    I’ve said many times if I lived in Charlestown I would not support tax equity. If I lived in Charlestown I would understand Hopkinton families are at a disadvantage when it comes to spending. I would understand that Hopkinton families pay more than twice what I pay and when I vote to approve budgets Hopkinton families will pay a higher cost for the budget than me. I would understand that Hopkinton is much more likely to reject spendng because they already are paying twice as much as me. I would understand that if my tax bill doubled to the amount Hopkinton already pays, I would be marching in the streets in protest.

    The problems is that most of us in Hopkinton do understand the position of Charlestown families. I think Charlestown families are smart enough to understand our situation. Sadly, they don’t seem to care as they keep foisting unreasonable budgets and bonds upon us. When we say no, they get their politicians to push for re-votes. It’s happened before, and they’re trying it again.

    Why a Hopkinton representative doesn’t have a clue about the concerns of his constituents is unfathomable to me. I can only guess that growing up rich prevents Mr. Petit from understanding the day-to-day stuggles of many in his community.

    Comment by Curious Resident — June 20, 2008 @ 2:09 pm | Reply

  89. No, she did not coin it, but she is famous for it, and 9 out of 10 people would associate the phrase with the village philosophy espoused in her book. My reaction to your use of the phrase is based on her book.

    Comment by Curious Resident — June 20, 2008 @ 2:12 pm | Reply

  90. CR,
    If we could get rid of all the fluff in the schools as a whole and got back to teaching what teachers should be teaching we would be better off as a whole and there would be no need for charter schools or vouchers.

    Comment by CharihoParent — June 20, 2008 @ 2:12 pm | Reply

  91. Perhaps not CharihoParent, but I see government schools getting worse, not better. If schools got out of the business of raising children it would definitely save us lots of money.

    Comment by Curious Resident — June 20, 2008 @ 2:16 pm | Reply

  92. Well, I never read her book and ignore any news that’s on about her to the best of my abilities – so I would have no idea she stole the phrase for her own gain.

    Comment by njwashor — June 20, 2008 @ 2:23 pm | Reply

  93. CR I thought you were better than that but I was wrong. Do you mean to tell me that all single mother made a bad choice? CR you are an idiot! growing up rich huh? Yea because i don’t struggle now. If you know me as much as you think you know me ( of course you think you know what it best for everyone) you would know that wasn’t my style. I was just one of the kids in the neighborhood. So be jealous if you will but still has nothing to do with vouchers. If you want me to beleive that you would feel or do anything different if lived in Charlestown than you are a bigger fool than I thought. NO ONE buys that, if you lived in Charlestown you would do and feel the same as them. And you would contact your Reps to have them try to send this new bond back out to vote. Hum, sort of like I did in Hopkinton. Oh yea wait, thats because I received phone calls and emails asking me to support it and to fight to bring it back to the tax payers. DID YOU? Or are you just going off the few that talk on here?

    CR I do have a question for you after reading your comments the last couple of days I am wondering, do you have children in the Chariho School District? Or the question should be do they attend publice schools now?

    Comment by bpetit — June 20, 2008 @ 2:37 pm | Reply

  94. Here is a link to a funny review by PJ O’Rourke titled “It Takes a Village Idiot”. The last excerpted quote reminds me of some of our local political leaders’ stupidity thinking government is the answer when government is the problem.

    “It takes a village to raise a child. The village is Washington. You are the child. There, I’ve spared you from reading the worst book to come out of the Clinton administration since- let’s be fair-the last one.”

    “Mrs Clinton seems to possess the highly developed, finely attuned stupidity usually found in the upper reaches of academia.”

    “There is no form of social spending that Mrs Clinton won’t buy into (with your money). But she is oblivious to the idea that the government programmes she advocates may have caused the problems the government programmes she advocates are supposed to solve. “Whatever the reasons for the apparent increase in physical and sexual abuse of children, it demands our intervention,” she says. But what if the reason is our intervention?”

    Comment by Curious Resident — June 20, 2008 @ 2:50 pm | Reply

  95. CR, you don’t have to convince me… While I believe communities should work within themselves for the betterment of their society as a whole, I do not feel they should be responsible for the individuals within that whole.

    Comment by njwashor — June 20, 2008 @ 2:58 pm | Reply

  96. I won’t discuss my personal situation. I don’t trust you or any school administrators to not take out your anger on my child. Mr. Felkner had an experience which I don’t want to have repeated on my child.

    As for teenage mothers, yes, if they had sex while in High School then they made a terrible choice and until we once again tell teenagers that teenage sex has dire consequences then we shouldn’t be surprised when it happens again and again and again. Instead of consequences, we accomodate. Doesn’t make any sense at all.

    As for the re-vote, the bond was rejected by Hopkinton in a legal vote. Will you be pushing for another budget vote since Hopkinton overwhelmingly voted against the budget? I didn’t think so.

    Mr. Petit is consistent in one thing. His inability to be consistent. Chariho brings us RYSE with no legitimate cost analysis nor any idea about if it is better or worse than other progams. Mr. Petit defends the program to the hilt. Mr. Felkner introduces vouchers, and Mr. Petit has 50 million questions. I agree questions should be asked, but why does he only ask questions about the things that might benefit Hopkinton families but remains blissfully ignorant of the programs which benefit Chariho employees but have no track record of success for our children?

    I would feel precisely as I do now if I lived in Charlestown. I think they are foolish if they agree to tax equity. I would think the same if I lived there. I think the real solution is the community which can afford to spend more on schools should go out on its own. I would think the same thing if I lived in Charlestown.

    Of course, if I lived in Charlestown and the town of Hopkinton was stupid enough to accept the tax disparity and Charlestown could have Hopkinton subsidize our high cost education vision, then sure, why not take Hopkinton along for the very expensive ride?

    I don’t hold Charlestown at fault for willingness to spend what their families can afford. Richmond is really the problem because they are willing to spend far above what is reasonable for their citizens. If Richmond held Chariho to standards realistic for a community with their tax base, then Hopkinton and Richmond together could keep Charlestown in line. Unfortunately, Richmond does not mind its families paying more than twice that of Charlestown families. Charlestown can sit back and laugh.

    Comment by Curious Resident — June 20, 2008 @ 3:14 pm | Reply

  97. TO: Bob Petit

    Where in the Constitution does it allow you the power to force me to pay for someone else, be it medical care, education, welfare, etc????

    If not in the Constitution, then where do you gain the authority, and what justification can you make for STEALING my hard earned money and giving it to somebody else.

    Comment by RS — June 20, 2008 @ 3:38 pm | Reply

  98. We’ve hear the ying and the yang of ‘we can do this or can’t do that regarding the tri town school budget.’ The more recent recent of 2005 know of the 2005 budget when Hopkinton resident voter, Scott Bill Hirst proposed a $2,000,000 cut, the dog and pony show that ensued by then Superintendant Pini and then Hopkinton Chairperson Brown, bro ha ha ed, we can’t make make the budget we have to have a redo vote, etc. in documented proof in the Westerly Sun yet the budget was around $2.8 million dollars in surplus and all tri town voters suffered. That became the new low budget point as many of us know the new maintantanance of effort.

    I tried personally to note at this years district financial meeting efforts to get answers to the mandates and was quieted by the moderator, Pasquale DeBernado of Richmond is trying to go over the same Pini article but was cut off.

    Does the Chariho District know the numbers, of course.

    Westerly Sun Article, Board to try to use mandated budget, April 4, 1995, page 6,

    Wood River Junction-They may decide it’s a futile task of trying to force square pegs int round holes, but the Chariho School Committee attempts to find a way to use the $26.2 million budget at a workshop Wednesday, 7 p.m. in the middle school library.

    This will be the first budget meeting since tri -town voters scalped $2,000,00 from the top of the 1995-1996 oerating plan at the financial district meeting March 25. (Blogger note, Scott Bill Hirst was only the only recent $2,000,000 Million cut proposed, yet turned out to be a $2 Million, 800 thousand decifit. (Who got played tri town voters who questioned Scott Bill) Pini and Brown played the tri town voters.)

    If, as some content, the commitee decides that it can not operate the regional school district on $26.2 million, they will notify each town and appeal to the commission of education.

    At 26.2 million, the taxpayers are asking the school administration to operate at $1 million less than the current 1994-1995, budget.

    The crux of the situation lies with the second consecutive year of state aid cuts by the state, resulting in tax burdens on the townswhich rate from excessive to impossible. the $2 Million cut was an exclamation mark following a state that said, “We won’t take it any more!” That state may serve as prologue to a long and bitter fight to restoer regional bonuses, aid that Chariho residents believe was promised by the state in the 1980s when Charlestown, Richmond and Hopkinton were urged to regionalize the entire school system.

    The School Committee is expected to seperate line items mandated under state and federal law, then see it there is any slack in other items on which to base reductions.
    Meanwhile, the towns are proceeding with their own budgets, using a pre-$2 million cut figure, and hoping that strategy won’t backfire when the smoke clears.

    Westerly Sun, april 4, 1995, page 6, Board to try to use mandated budget.

    Bloggers note. They can come up with a mandated budget then (1995) (not by a former school committee person) but can’t do it when asked by someone at the most recent financial meeting (08) this spring using the former School committee’s mandates in 2005 when they ‘alledged’ to be said the money is tied to mandates yet ended up with a $2.8 million dollar surplus (and scott bill was tar and feathered at a $2 million plus for the tri town taxpayers) and read off of a paper and get shut down by the Richmond Moderator?

    In closing when the say the don’t know mandates, they know mandates or they should be fired. Mandates are subjective and not a mystery.

    Again, Board to try to use mandated budget, april 4, 1995, Page 6

    Be well tri town voters.

    Comment by james — June 20, 2008 @ 4:02 pm | Reply

  99. CR again you show your ingnorance saying things you have no idea about. First I am looking into things with the RYSE program but will not say a word about it until I get all my information because of people like you that take everything and twist it around. You keep avoiding my question and trying to justify your thoughts as being right with single mothers. Seems to me people should be able to make mistakes and not get hung out. But you are so perfect I forget in your world this doesn’t happen. Some single mothers are great parents and do well but that doesn’t matter in your world. Again I have all ready received an answer to this queston so I will not discuss single parents or low income families because I don’t feel like you. I think they deserve a chance to get their feet on the ground too. Must be becasue I was a spoiled rich kid that I care about other people rich or poor.

    As for a budget vote NO I will not push for another vote; but than again no one has approched me to do that. But as I said you avoid this too; a lot of people called me and e-mailed me in support of the way the bond was broken up and asked for another chance to vote on it this way. Should I not listen to them? I had more people voice their opinion in favor of a re-vote than not. So are you telling me I am not doing what people want, or just not what you want?

    Going back to questions I have asked a lot of questions about vouchers becasue I admit, I really don’t know much about them. This has nothing to do with being on the school committee or working for the school or what ever else you accuse me of. It is because I am interested in knowing how the system works. You try to make it sound like I am agianst it. I ahve said 50 million times ( with all the questions) that I am not for or against it and will see what Bill, Bonnie and whoe ever is on the committee come up with.

    See by asking questions you learn. I looked into the state transportation thing Barbara Capalbo was talking about. The state is going to set up a state wide transportation. But guess what the catch is to it, they run it; towns/ districts pay for it. They will bill per child for the transportation. Hum, seems like one spot we will be paying more for vouchers.

    Again I agree with you aobut the tax equalization, but don’t blame others for the way things are. Correct me If I am wrong, but at one time wasn’t it Hopkinton that had the Chariho Act changed to the way it is today?

    RS I don’t have an answer for you because I can’t even understand what you are saying. Look around are you not paying now? Have you not always been paying? Where are you coming from with that?

    Comment by bpetit — June 20, 2008 @ 4:08 pm | Reply

  100. Mr. Petit doesn’t care about other people or he would spend his own money excusing their bad decisions. Instead he advocates for other people’s money to be used to reward bad behavior. If he wants to collect money then he should establish a charity and not forcibly take money from taxpayers.

    Mr. Petit keeps referring to single mothers…although I have an opinion on the plague of single mothers, for the purposes of discussion here, I am speaking about teenage mothers in school, married or unmarried, who depend on the community to compensate them for their terrible decision to have sex. The end result of rewarding bad decisions is more bad decisions. Mr. Petit wants to minimize consequences thus ensuring it will happen again and again. I want to maximize consequences thus discouraging other children from making similar mistakes.

    As for questions, I wish Mr. Petit would show as much interest in the management of Chariho as he does in a proposed solution to the problems at Chariho.

    Comment by Curious Resident — June 20, 2008 @ 4:39 pm | Reply

  101. here you go James when I asked someone up state about mandates this is what I got can you figure it out. I asked the to eloborate and they couldn’t. They are the ones that set the mandates. These are some and are above and beyond what the Federal Government mandates. looks to me more about disabled children but this is what I received. If you can make heads or tails out of it let me know.


    Pursuant to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (2004) (20 U.S.C. 1400 et seq) Part A, Sec. 608, and Federal Regulations 300.199 the Rhode Island Department of Education reports the following State imposed requirements that are not required by the Act or exceed the requirements of the Act.

    R.I. Board of Regents Regulations:
    300.553 Child with a disability
    300.9(A) School Year
    300.553 Educational Collaborative
    300.554 Vocational/Career Assessment
    300.555 Personnel
    300.556 Local Advisory Committee (LAC) on Special Education
    300.557 Regional Transition Services Advisory Committee (TAC)
    300.239 Treatment of charter schools and their students
    300.240 Information for RIDE
    300.300(A) Facilities
    300.302(A) General Conditions for the Protection and Well-Being of Children
    300.553 Extended School Year Services
    300.554 Transportation Services for Children with Disabilities
    300.555 Content of IEP. Transition at 14
    300.556 Provision of services—basic requirement Services determined
    300.454 Services determined
    300.553 Services provided
    300.554 Location of services; transportation
    300.456(A) Non-Public and State Operated School Programs
    300.456(B) State Responsibility
    300.555 Complaints and Due Process
    300.556 Separate Classes Prohibited
    300.557 Emergency Removals from School
    300.520(B) Removals for More Than Ten (10) Days – Cumulative
    300.553 Manifestation Determination
    300.524(B) Determination that child’s behavior is related to child’s Disability
    300.525(2) Parent Appeal
    300.553 Expedited Due Process Hearings
    300.531 Initial evaluation
    300.551(A) Array of Special Education Programs
    300.551(B) Array of Services for Children Aged 3 through 5
    300.551(C) School Diploma
    300.552(A) Pre-School Children
    300.552(B) School-Aged Children
    300.552(C) Resource Programs
    300.552(D) Regular Education Classes
    300.552(E) Homebound and Hospital Instructional Program
    300.552(F) Services
    300.553 Non Academic Settings
    300.554 Children in Public or Private Institutions

    Comment by bpetit — June 20, 2008 @ 4:39 pm | Reply

  102. I’ve suggested in the past that we would be better off rejecting all mandates and turning away government aid. With the list provided by Mr. Petit (thank you), it seems to me that the idea of forgoing mandates could potentially save us lots of money and give the community control over what we offer to our children. I’d be interested to see the administration’s proposal for a budget with and without mandates. I won’t hold my breath waiting.

    Comment by Curious Resident — June 20, 2008 @ 4:45 pm | Reply

  103. Of course you couldn’t answer the qestion BPetit, that’s why I asked it….it was a loaded question. You are right look around at what we have been paying for all along.

    The single mother, the less fortunate, what ever label you choose to put on different classes of people, should be fortunate to live in such a country where they have the opportunities they have here in the USA. You seem to obsess over a single mother not having the same ability to send her child to whatever school the Bill Gates of the world send their children to. The person should be thankful for the opportunity to send their child to school without costing them a penny. Everyone in Hopkinton can send their child to school and if they do not work and don’t own property, then they are charged $0. So to make the case of vouchers somehow depriving this person of a chance for an education is ludicrous. So because 1 person can’t have what the next one has, we should penalize everybody and drag the rest of the citizens down to that low common level. Sounds like you are a student of socialism.

    Comment by RS — June 20, 2008 @ 6:28 pm | Reply

  104. When I was 8 years old I walked a mile to school. I crossed under an overpass which carried what is now Metro North. One day, my brother and I decided to climb up the embankment next to the tracks to collect railway nails. They were huge, scattered all over the place and fascinated us. This was a long time ago, in a different age, when an 8 year old could walk to school without being abducted 100 feet from his house (so CR, don’t even bother to tell me what a bad mother I had). When we got home from school that day, my mother reamed my brother and I out for being up the embankment. It was THE VILLAGE that saved us from what may have been an unfortunate “child killed by train” headline. Someone who lived in Town and knew us, saw us coming down the embankment and called our mother to tell her what we had been up to. Curious Resident, if I see your kids engaging in dangerous behavior, I’m going to yell at them. Screw you. If you want to live in a libertarian wonderland where 5 year olds are responsible for their own behavior, that’s fine. But when I see you children misbehaving, I will stop them. Whether I have to do it myself or call the cops. Lord knows we have plenty of them around here. Just try and sue me for keeping YOUR children safe. You may not like living in civilization and paying taxes for services and having to stop at red lights but that’s too bad. If you think taxes are too high, fine. But I suggest that in the long run, you should go to Maine. I hear they’ll give you all the rope you need to hang yourself out there.

    Comment by Fat Albert — June 20, 2008 @ 7:36 pm | Reply

  105. If the village means your trusted neighbor, then I’m with Fat Albert. The Hillary Clinton village is not neighbors but government. I’m with CR if the village means more government.

    Seems to me that most people mean government control when they say it takes a village. I’ll raise my own kids thank you. If my neighbor is helpful, great. But I’ll decide which neighbors I can trust and which neighbors might be a danger themselves. You yell at my kids you better have a good reason.

    I live in the U.S. and I’ll raise my own kids and if you want to help you better make sure you have my blessing or you better watch your back. Your values may not be our values.

    Comment by Real Question — June 20, 2008 @ 9:16 pm | Reply

  106. RS, go back and re-read your post. I’ll point specifically to two lines.

    So because 1 person can’t have what the next one has, we should penalize everybody and drag the rest of the citizens down to that low common level. Sounds like you are a student of socialism.

    So now let’s change this just one little bit:

    So because 1 town can’t have what the next one has, we should penalize everyone in that town and drag that town down to the low common level. Sounds like you are a student of socialism.

    The low common level here is that I’ve seen people write on this blog that they want Charlestown to hurt as much as they hurt. Is that right?

    Now you have exactly what Hopkintonians are doing when the scream and holler for tax equalization. It’s alright one way but not another way? Talk about double standards!

    Comment by CharihoParent — June 20, 2008 @ 9:47 pm | Reply

  107. CharihoParent is spewing lies again. We don’t want Charlestown to suffer. They should spend whatever they want for schooling. The part he refuses to acknowledge is that when Charlestown votes to spend $1 per family they are obligating Hopkinton families to spend $2.30 for the same thing.

    Comment by Real Question — June 20, 2008 @ 10:08 pm | Reply

  108. I want to know how you ALL became experts in how to run a school system. Don’t you people have LIVES????? Talk about a bunch of losers….

    Comment by what? — June 20, 2008 @ 10:11 pm | Reply

  109. It’s not running a school system to be able to see when a school system is failing in its job. When what you’re doing doesn’t work then you try something new. What’s so complicated?

    Comment by Real Question — June 20, 2008 @ 10:14 pm | Reply

  110. how do YOU know what is right and what is wrong….just your complaining about taxes???

    Comment by what? — June 20, 2008 @ 10:16 pm | Reply

  111. what makes ANY of you experts on test scores or building plans?? its EASY to throw stones and act like experts behind fake names. Why DONT YOU run for school committee this year and make a difference. After all there are SEVERAL openings this year so the typical “I’m only one” excuse cant work. Get a bunch of you with your opinions and grow some grapefruits and run for office. Talking like a wiseguy on this website amounts to jack crap and if you think you are making a difference right now on this… are sooooooo WRONG!!!

    Comment by what? — June 20, 2008 @ 10:19 pm | Reply

  112. Kids not learning math is wrong. Kids learning math is right. Stick with us and you might move up to “where?” or “when?”.

    Comment by Real Question — June 20, 2008 @ 10:19 pm | Reply

  113. its very amusing to see people argue back and forth like cowards but when you mention….why dont you run….you get every excuse in the book. But you have PLENTY of time to criticize the people that do make the time.

    Comment by what? — June 20, 2008 @ 10:20 pm | Reply

  114. our govt….be it school commitee, council or state level is FULL of a bunch of baboons but at least they put their names on the lines and invest their time. If you dont like their decisions……DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT……talking on this thing is NOT doing your community service….its BEING A COWARD

    Comment by what? — June 20, 2008 @ 10:23 pm | Reply

  115. Don’t do us any favors and run for office if you’re an idiot. We’re better off with nobody than with a bunch of idiots. If you’re an idiot than use your time to read a book.

    Comment by Real Question — June 20, 2008 @ 10:23 pm | Reply

  116. RQ…if you arent an idiot….and you profess to know all the answers on here….then WHY DONT YOU RUN?????

    Comment by what? — June 20, 2008 @ 10:26 pm | Reply

  117. I don’t run cause I’m old and fat.

    Comment by Real Question — June 20, 2008 @ 10:29 pm | Reply

  118. sounds to me like you are a yellow bellied sap sucker

    Comment by what? — June 20, 2008 @ 10:30 pm | Reply

  119. typical non answer….its ok….you dont have to answer…..youre just a figure of your own imagination……a know it all but when it comes down to it, youre like a bully. as soon as you have to actually be a real person, you back right down

    Comment by what? — June 20, 2008 @ 10:31 pm | Reply

  120. Hopkinton exploring school vouchers somehow hurts any other town….I just don’t see it.

    Comment by RS — June 20, 2008 @ 10:34 pm | Reply

  121. Are yellow bellied sap suckers old and fat? If so you could be right. Maybe I’m a fat bellied sap sucker?

    Hey if I’m a figure of my imagination why would the figure be fat? I would choose a slim figure if I had the choice. I’d run like the wind!

    Comment by Real Question — June 20, 2008 @ 10:36 pm | Reply

  122. They are not uninvolved parties like they pretend. Should Hopkinton go with vouchers there comes a point where government jobs could be lost. This is very scary to those sucking off taxpayers. I think the real yellow bellied taxpayer suckers don’t like us talking about a system which bypasses government employees.

    Comment by Real Question — June 20, 2008 @ 10:41 pm | Reply

  123. RQ, I do ackknowledge that Charlestown pays less then the other two towns. There’s no doubt about it, there’s no denying that. You’re not ready to admit that what you want and what you and others have said is exactly that, you want them to hurt like you hurt, feel the pain that you feel. It’s been said on this blog many times. It’s not fault of the average Charlestown resident (who goes to work day in and day out, struggles to make ends meet like everyone else in this area) that a some people, many of whom are probably non-residents anyway, have driven up the tax base because they desire waterfront property and then turn around build some mansion on the property.

    Also, vouchers and school choice may be part of the answer to the ills at Chariho but it certainly isn’t the panacea that some of the bloggers make it out to be. There’s a lot more to the problems than just school choice and vouchers.

    Comment by CharihoParent — June 21, 2008 @ 7:57 am | Reply

  124. You misunderstand once again CP. What we want is for Charlestown families to vote on budgets and bonds as if the budgets and bonds will financially impact them like they impact Hopkinton families. This is the pain we are referring to. Charlestown accepts more Chariho spending because they don’t pay as much for the spending as we spend. Without Charlestown “feeling the pain”, Hopkinton is stuck.

    If there are Charlestown families who struggle with a $2000 tax bill, then it should be recognized that the $2000 tax bill in Charlestown turns into a $4300 tax bill in Hopkinton. Now who is more likely to have more families struggling – the community with $2000 tax bills or the community with $4300 tax bills? We know that some small amount of Charlestownians reject bonds and budgets. These are probably the struggling families but there are far fewer in Charlestown than in Hopkinton.

    Comment by Real Question — June 21, 2008 @ 9:13 am | Reply

  125. If one Charlestown family stuggles because they pay $2,000 in taxes, then ten Hopkinton families struggle because we are paying over $4,000 in taxes for the same budgets and bonds. I don’t think anyone in Hopkinton wants more Charlestown families to struggle, we just want less Hopkinton families to struggle.

    Until Charlestown joins us in demanding responsible and accountable spending by Chariho, then they demonstrate a total lack of regard for the Hopkinton families who pay more than twice as much as them. We saw this when Hopkinton tried to cut $2,000,000 a few years ago and Charlestown voters came out in droves to reinstitute unnecessary spending. With the latest bond re-vote we are once again seeing that Charlestown could care less what Chariho spending does to Hopkinton families. They want what they want and they don’t care if it hurts Hopkinton families.

    Tax equity makes every family carry the same cost. With tax equity we would expect Charlestown to vote down outrageous contracts. We’d expect Charlestown families to make Chariho account for their spending. What we would like is not for each Charlestown family to pay more, but we’d love to see each Hopkinton family pay less. Charlestown does not have to pay twice as much…how about Hopkinton paying half as much?

    Comment by Curious Resident — June 21, 2008 @ 12:11 pm | Reply

  126. The crux of the problem is that if Hopkinton paid half as much, then Charlestown would pay half as much… and we’d still be complaining about how Charlestown has a better deal than us. To truly fix the problem, you should treat all three towns as if they are one for the sake of a school tax (essentially that’s what it is). The number of tax-paying residents in each town should be how the town’s are billed… not how many students in each town. And like I said earlier, snow-birds, summer-residents, should not be exempt from this tally.

    Comment by njwashor — June 21, 2008 @ 3:06 pm | Reply

  127. What you describe is district tax equity Mr. Washor. Around the country school districts tax by district and not by town. That said, Chariho has always taxed by town. As Charlestown’s beach front property has because more and more valuable, their tax base has swelled and the tax disparity has grown along with the tax base.

    While the tax disparity has always caused problems, it is worse now because Chariho spending has gone far beyond the pace of student population growth plus inflation. Enrollment has actually seen significant decreases while Chariho budgets have significantly increased. Charlestown tolerates the irresponsible spending increase because their families are not as severerly impacted.

    If the overall financial burden placed on families by Chariho was to decrease, then yes, it still would not be fair, but there would be greater likelihood of Hopkinton grinning and bearing. I believe Hopkinton has reached the breaking point at this level of spending. Time will tell…if we keep rejecting bonds and budgets then yes, we have had enough. I hope the time has come because something different needs to be done one way or the other.

    Comment by Curious Resident — June 21, 2008 @ 5:36 pm | Reply

  128. njwashor, snow-birds and summer residents are not exempt now if they own property.

    Comment by CharihoParent — June 21, 2008 @ 6:29 pm | Reply

  129. CR, how can you say it was Charlestown residents that showed up in droves? Do you have the number of voters that showed up from each town? I do believe, from what I recall, it was voters from all 3 towns that showed up in droves, not just one.

    I think you’re also mistaken when you say Charlestown residents to expect a much accounting from Chariho as what Hopkinton does. I know a a number of Charlestown residents who are not satisfied at all with the performance or the financial accounting from Chariho. Do NOT make it sound like it’s Hopkinton. I know Richmond residents also expect more from Chariho. The problem is that we expect better cooperation from Hopkinton as well. The kicking and screaming coming out from Hopkinton does do anyone any good. It’s the same old tired lines we hear but when push comes to shove nothing gets done by anyone.

    Comment by CharihoParent — June 21, 2008 @ 6:35 pm | Reply

  130. Hopkinton rejects the spending increases in the face of declining enrollment and dismal results. Charlestown and Richmond voters approve irresponsible spending…not all of voters, but the majority of them. You can spin it any way you like, but the numbers don’t lie…although you often do.

    Comment by Curious Resident — June 21, 2008 @ 8:04 pm | Reply

  131. CR, the only one that really lies is the Buffoon Brigade. Again I’ll ask the same question that I’ve been asking since yesterday. Maybe someone from the Buffoon Brigade has the courage to answer it honestly.

    1. What are your fears to put this NEW bond before the voters?

    2. Afraid of a voter turnout that might be in more favor of Chariho than what you want?

    3. Afraid that the tiny little 47 vote margin won’t hold up when it’s a presidential election year?

    4. Afraid that people will find out that the vocal group is really a minority in Hopkinton?

    Comment by CharihoParent — June 21, 2008 @ 8:12 pm | Reply

  132. CR, that’s purely an assumption on your part then that it “Charlestown voters that showed up in droves”. You have NOTHING to back up that statement other than a supposition.

    Comment by CharihoParent — June 21, 2008 @ 8:16 pm | Reply

  133. I’ve explained to you the fallacy of your logic CharihoParent. If you’re too stupid to understand, blame your gene pool or education, not me.

    As for restoring budget cuts in 2005, the cuts were made with Hopkinton leadership. The cuts were restored by morons wherever they originated. We now know that the the 2005-2006 budget collected $2,800,000 from families which was not needed. Chariho’s administration swore up and down that the cuts couldn’t be made because of mandates. Here’s some quotes for a bunch of morons who supported the re-vote:

    Hopkinton’s Kathy Lowe – who, with her husband Edward, coordinated the two petitions to restore funds to the budget – strongly supports restoring funding to the budget.

    “Personally, I believe the $2-million cut would have a negative impact on the quality of education in the district,” she said.

    Charlestown Town Councilor Forrester C. Safford, a former member of the school board, said state and federal mandates leave little room for cuts in the “very tight budget.”

    “They shot before they really looked at the target,” Safford said of voters’ actions at the March 1 vote. “They’re shooting at the wrong target.”

    “You just don’t send a message on the backs of your kids,” he said.

    Safford said there is a lot of “bitterness” toward Hopkinton, in Charlestown especially. Hopkinton voters outnumbered the two other towns on March 1.

    “Hopkinton is digging themselves a hole,” Safford added.

    Comment by Curious Resident — June 21, 2008 @ 9:05 pm | Reply

  134. CR, were you at second District Financial Meeting? I know I was. I know that Hopkinton had a very large voter turnout. In fact, it was so large that the meeting was held up waiting for all the Hopkinton voters to be signed in. It truly makes one wonder if the vocal ones seeking budgets, no votes on bonds, etc., coming out from Hopkinton are actually in the minority.

    Comment by CharihoParent — June 22, 2008 @ 7:26 am | Reply

  135. It may make you wonder if you are clueless but anyone around at the time knows what happened with the budget revote. Hopkinton even considered legal action.

    The biggest part of that revote is the lies told by Chariho. We now have them lying to us again as they try to overturn another vote. This time Hopkinton doesn’t have to worry about what Charlestown and Richmond do. If we say no to the lies then we win. It won’t matter if the other two towns get suckered by Chariho again.

    Comment by Real Question — June 22, 2008 @ 9:12 am | Reply

  136. Sure CharihoParent…Hopkinton has rejected all Chariho nonsense over the last number of year…our leaders were in the forefront of the effort to reduce the inflated budget in 2005, but, whenever the vote tally can’t be determined by town, then Hopkinton voters all change their minds and switch places with Charlestown and Richmond voters. So now it was Richmond and Charlestown who saw through Chariho’s 2005 budget scam and it was Hopkinton who allowed our tax money to be sucked into the Chariho whirlpool of waste. That’s the ticket. You’re one brilliant thinker.

    Comment by Curious Resident — June 22, 2008 @ 10:53 am | Reply

  137. In response to blog 133 by CR it is noted in the Westerly Sun Tuesday May 3, 2005.Authored by Emily Dupuis.

    Who ever you are, thanks for your research and education or re education of tri town voters.

    Comment by James Hirst — June 22, 2008 @ 1:45 pm | Reply

  138. No, no, it’s is you Mr. James Hirst who has done the research. I simply use your research to highlight the absurdity of shipping off millions more to Chariho under the auspices of “they really need it”.

    In reading the articles from the 2005 budget fight, it is very funny to see the quotes where the Chariho apologists run around swearing by every lie coming out of Chariho’s administration’s mouth. Like many of spending measures through the years, Chariho lied and voters believed them. The words “it’s for the children” are very powerful even when it is obviously “for the adults”.

    Prior to the last bond the truth made it out to enough Hopkinton voters. Voters took the information and rejected the status quo of spending with no accountability. Predictably the apologists immediately began efforts to subvert the vote. We are now almost back to square one and Hopkinton will need to stand up again.

    Should the re-vote occur, Hopkinton’s rallying cry should be, “Remember the 2005 budget!” Will we be fooled again? Not me.

    Comment by Curious Resident — June 22, 2008 @ 1:58 pm | Reply

  139. I Thank you for your kind words, much is said yet undocumented. I have the same copy and shifted through my copies and your ‘spot on’ regarding your response.

    Emotions are high on all levels, I hope or would think that this site/blog by Mr. Felkner is a sharing of information to benefit all of the tri towns.
    I don’t know who the bloggers are and don’t have the time to play an amateur Sherlock Holmes in finding out.

    Their is 50 years and 600 months (50 years times 12 months worth of information). There is also much information/articles in the archives that some would argue would shock the system into some leaders past political history. That is for others to decide by the tri town voters.

    It may argue into the tri towns psyche of what goes on or has gone on or their credibility. That is for each town to investigate.

    Again thanks for your limited kind words, I’m just quoting the obvious from the local WESTERLY SUN articles.

    Comment by James Hirst — June 22, 2008 @ 3:26 pm | Reply

  140. Much is also noted in the Providence Journal if one has the time to investigate.

    Be Well,


    Comment by James Hirst — June 22, 2008 @ 3:49 pm | Reply

  141. CharihoParent,
    #134 – I was also at the 2nd Financial meeting. The number of citizens attending was very large and the hold up was not just Hopkinton but other voters being signed in as well. The vote was majority not by town, therefore, Charlestown, Richmond and Hopkinton voters approved the 2nd school budget with the additional and unnecessary two million.

    Comment by BarbaraC — June 22, 2008 @ 7:53 pm | Reply

  142. Again, as to #131
    1) I don’t think anyone is ‘afraid’ of the ‘New’ bond. It’s not new and it was voted down by a legal and democratic process established in and by the Chariho Act.
    2) and 3) Those simple 47 votes may become more when many who do not vote in Richmond and Charlestown (let alone Hopkinton) do go to the polls for the presidential election. It may not serve you well either.
    4) And these ‘tiny little minority groups’ – in Hopkinton this time, with Charlestown last time (99 million) – still have not allowed your bond to pass. You still don’t have it. Do you?

    The constant and continual rejection of school budgets in the surrounding towns should put all of Chariho on notice. Next year might be very messy especially if any part of the bond passes and you must explain to the citizens why the budget hasn’t gone down with the addition of the bond.

    Comment by BarbaraC — June 22, 2008 @ 8:11 pm | Reply

  143. Barbara, I never said the budget would go down because of the bond, I actually wouldn’t expect it to but I would expect the increase to a lot less then what it was this year. Approximately $380,000 per town for the bond payment versus who knows how much for repairs? That’s a no brainer, should fit right into the Bufoon Brigade’s mentality, not a total entire brain amongnst the lot of them.

    If you’re not afraid of the bond vote, why are you so vehemntly opposed to it? Like I said in one post, if it is without merit in the opinion of Hopkinton a year ago, it should still be without merit this coming year. I think you’ve heard from both Bob Petit and Brian Kennedy that they’ve heard more from constituents that are supportive of the bond so you’re running scared that people will found out that the vocal citizens are actually in the minority. Once again I’ll say, let the voters decide, not any politician!

    Comment by CharihoParent — June 22, 2008 @ 8:31 pm | Reply

  144. CP,
    We DID let the voters decide and YOU (generic) didn’t like the vote. This is America. It is a democracy. The Chariho Act determines our process and we followed it and voted NO. You don’t like the vote. You are demanding a Do-Over like a spoiled brat on the playground.

    I want a new building committee to address the problems in the bond and I want the towns to fix the funding mechanism through the revised Chariho Act. I, personally, would be very happy to work with you.

    Comment by BarbaraC — June 22, 2008 @ 9:08 pm | Reply

  145. Answering CP is like reasoning with my 2 year…it doesn’t happen.

    Comment by RS — June 22, 2008 @ 9:42 pm | Reply

  146. Fair or not it looks like we’ll be repeating 2005’s revote. The difference this time is Hopkinton can do the same thing and stop Chariho from taking millions more from our families to waste on contracts and irresponsible spending. The recent budget vote give me faith that Hopkinton voters aren’t falling for Chariho’s lies any more. I think even some of the Hopkinton voters who approved the bond the last time can see Charlestown and Richmond are trying another scam like 2005. Some Hopkinton voters will have enough integrity to vote against the bond in a revote.

    Remember the 2005 budget!

    Comment by Real Question — June 22, 2008 @ 9:44 pm | Reply

  147. I appreciate any research information you are able to post here Mr. James Hirst. If you have internet links, even better.

    I too have resigned myself to another vote. I have confidence in my fellow townspeople to protect the first vote regardless of where they stood the first time on the issue of spending millions more at Chariho.

    As I explained in another post, one way or another things will change. I believe enough Hopkinton families have reached a breaking point where we won’t again ignore a repeat of 2005. I find it odd that the lies of 2005 aren’t talked about more publically. Does anyone remember when we were told that programs were to be cut and the school was going to sue the towns? How can anyone trust Chariho after being conned a few short year ago?

    Now we have CharihoParent, who is likely a Richmond town or Chariho official, tell us that passing a bond won’t mean decreasing budgets. As pretty much the only person who speaks for Richmond and Chariho status quo on here, I find his confession quite powerful and one more reason to not entrust this Chariho administration with millions of dollars.

    Comment by Curious Resident — June 22, 2008 @ 10:11 pm | Reply

  148. Barbara, please stop with the temper tantrums. It’s a new vote in my opinion and many others. In yours and many others it isn’t. So this is something we’ll disagree on until the cows come home. It’s funny how you site the Chariho Act determines the process and you want to stick to it but when it comes to funding Chariho, you want to change the process, what we have now isn’t good enough for Hopkinton. Shall we change the voting process when we change the funding process?

    Comment by CharihoParent — June 23, 2008 @ 11:49 am | Reply

  149. RS, CR, RQ… your minds are too simple to understand anything. CR, you’re so funny, I’m not a Richmond town official, I’m not a Chariho official. Again with the ASSUmptions you so love to make without knowing a darn thing. Keep saying that, maybe someday someone will believe you. If you truly believe that I’m either a Chariho or Richmond official, you truly are a Buffoon and a total loser!

    Comment by CharihoParent — June 23, 2008 @ 12:07 pm | Reply

  150. You’re not only an official or former official, you’re a comedian too. If you’re the best Richmond has to offer, it’s no wonder Richmond remains oblivious to the problems with Chariho.

    Comment by Curious Resident — June 23, 2008 @ 12:38 pm | Reply

  151. Hi!
    The Chariho Act is what it is and the demographics facts/statistics are what they are. The affordability factor is perhaps /likely the single driving force in the Chariho School District.
    CharihoParent answer me this: How can a town like Hopkinton deal with a town whose asseassable base and tax rate is so advantageous like Charlestown that its assessable base is larger than the other two towns combined and Charlestown’s has one of the lowest tax rates in the state. Richmond’s only saving grace financially seems to be it has a much larger median household income than the other two towns. These are only some of the statistics.

    Comment by Scott Bill Hirst — June 23, 2008 @ 12:45 pm | Reply

  152. CharihoParent, since you don’t seem to be paying attention to anything that is going on, the answer is yes: When we achieve tax equalization among the towns, then we can go to one person, one vote and no town will have the ability veto a bond. It’s been discussed widely but it requires Charlestown to submit to the idea of a school taxing district. Unfortunately, we are in the middle of a Mexican standoff. We’ll use the Chariho Act against you because you won’t agree to compromise and change it. We all have a gun pointed at each other’s head and the only way to resolved the issue it to all back away slowly. But no one is ready to go first, so we’re just watching to see if anyone is going to flinch.

    CharihoParent, pay attention, of course we are going to use your own weapon against you! It’s our poison pill and you’re gonna swallow it whether you like it or not. Tee hee!

    Comment by Fat Albert — June 23, 2008 @ 12:47 pm | Reply

  153. I see that the Buffoon Brigade has a new member, Fat Albert, congrats to you. I pay plenty of attention to what’s going on, I just don’t agree with the stance and tactics. Now see, take a look at SBH, he likes to talk out of both sides of his mouth but then again he’s a politician, a not so good one but he is one. Two examples of his talking out of both sides of his mouth.

    1) We want to stay a district….. but if the bond passes, it will make it more difficult for a town to withdraw. Since his only concern is about Hopkinton, he has to be talking about Hopkinton withdrawing from the district at some point.

    2) He wants to change the taxing structure of the Chariho Act but now comes out with “The Chariho Act is what it is”. If the Chariho Acit is what it is, then the taxing structure is what it is. Can’t have things both ways.

    Who said I/we won’t agree to compromise or change? I don’t agree with the tax equalization that I’ve been hearing, there has to be better solution to this problem. People need to think out of the box, I’m looking forward to seeing what Ms Thompson has to offer with her plan. The very people that I hear everyone is for, the taxpayer, is actually hurt with your current thinking. Is it the avergage Charlestown’s taxpayers fault that summer residents have driven up the tax base for their zeal for waterfront property? No, it isn’t. I’ll try to use the same analogy that Richmond’s Town Treasure used in the hope that this can be driven home through the thick skulls on the Buffoon Bridage. You have a 50 gallon tank on your vehicle, I have a 20 gallon tank on mine. It costs you $200 to fill up your vehicle while it costs me $80 to fill up mine. You scream foul because you paid more in taxes then what I did. That’s what I see Hopkinton doing. You want Charlestown to pay more in taxes, share in the hurt is what I hear, because they have had the fortunate experience of an increased tax base.

    FA, here’s a problem with what you’ve said. The questions about tax equalization and one person, one vote. They would have to wrapped up into one question along with equal representation for all three towns, no more of the 4/4/3 split on the school committee. To put it bluntly, I wouldn’t trust Hopkinton to approve 3 seperate questions when only one of them is what they want.

    CR, keep thinking that, you’ll get very far with that ASSUmption. You’re way off base with thinking that I’m an official of either Richmond or Chariho. Didn’t anyone ever teach you not to ass/u/me? Because when you do it makes an … out of you, not me.

    Comment by CharihoParent — June 23, 2008 @ 2:01 pm | Reply

  154. Fat Albert sums it up nicely. Hopkinton has been stuck with Richmond and Charlestown’s budget craziness for years. We’ve lost families due to high taxes and I’m sure more will be leaving unless we stop the incessant tax increases way above inflation.

    Hopkinton’s only saving grace to this point has been the town veto of bonds. Recently, Mr. Felkner has introduced another tool…vouchers. Personally, I’d like to see us continue to reject bonds and also implement a school choice system. Using the bond veto and a voucher system will either result in Charlestown and its gargantuan tax base taking on their own school system or tax equity where every district family feels the same economic pinch when Chariho negotiates ridiculous contracts and hires scads of unnecessary employees.

    Until we all sink or swim together, Hopkinton will continue to drown while Charlestown walks on water. Time for Charlestown to make room for us on the boat or they should take their yacht to another ocean and leave us here in our dinghy. We can’t afford to put gas in their yacht any longer.

    Comment by Curious Resident — June 23, 2008 @ 2:08 pm | Reply

  155. Hi!
    I am a politician. I don’t have animosity that you seem to have CharihoParent. I am not talking out both sides of my mouth although at times we might seem to contradict ourselves.
    The facts are an “inconvenient truth” in regards to the fiscal disparities in the district and the set up (Chariho Act) in many ways an impediment to the success of the district especially in regards to finances. It is not Charlestown’s fault they have beach property, however advocates in that town who fought to keep them in never articulated a way to address the fiscal disparities. I can respect those who do not believe in a equalized tax rate but how much should we tolerate those who wish not to seek a solution?
    Many don’t really want to find a solution but just change the subject!

    Comment by Scott Bill Hirst — June 23, 2008 @ 2:34 pm | Reply

  156. Richmond’s treasurer is a dolt. What he doesn’t recognize is that Charlestown makes us fill up our 50 gallon tank with Ultra when we can only afford Regular. Since Charlestown only has a 20 gallon tank they can afford Ultra…we can’t.

    Strange thing is that Charlestown also convinces Richmond it needs Ultra. Since so many Richmond people work for the oil company they go along with Charlestown even though many of their families can’t afford Ultra either. Too bad Richmond’s treasurer is so limited in his thinking. About what I would expect from a Richmond official.

    Comment by Curious Resident — June 23, 2008 @ 2:39 pm | Reply

  157. CR, another one of your stupid assumptions. There are many Charlestown families that are not walking on water. I gave one example that I’m most familiar with, my father-in-law. He’s worked hard his whole life, finally retired then when my mother-in-law passed away he had to go back to work to make ends meet. Increasing his tax burden is not going to do him any favors, that’s for sure. I’ll also ask you, when was the last time you’ve driven along Kings Factory Road, have you seen the poverty there? When was the last time you took a ride through Columbia Heights? Proud people there but they are struggling now to make ends meet but yet you want them to struggle that much more! These are just some examples of what is going on in Charlestown, it’s not the bed of roses for these people that you want to paint. You don’t care if some of these people loss their homes because they can’t afford their taxes. There has to be a better solution then what is currently on the table. We need to think outside of the box. In some ways, I hope the state forces regionalization upon the whole state and break it up by county and make it one person, one vote for all matters. Not that I trust the state to get anything right.

    Comment by CharihoParent — June 23, 2008 @ 2:43 pm | Reply

  158. CR, keep going, you’re just showing your true colors and the well earned rank in the Buffoon Brigade. You can’t understand the analogy at all, it’s way over your head. Yes, you are truly a buffoon!

    SBH, “might seem to contradict”? YOU DO!

    Comment by CharihoParent — June 23, 2008 @ 2:48 pm | Reply

  159. You father-in-law is impoverished by a tax bill more than half as steep as every father-in-law in Hopkinton. Sorry he can’t make it, but if you can’t understand why paying 2 1/2 times as much will have a more severe impact on a community, then there is little I can do to help you out.

    I understood the analogy just fine. Your treasurer stopped before it was complete. I fixed it for him to accurately reflect the problems with Chariho funding. You’re welcome.

    Comment by Curious Resident — June 23, 2008 @ 4:24 pm | Reply

  160. CharihoParent,
    You castigate myself and others on Chariho finances but what is YOUR solution? Above you came up with some ideas. What you miss is this argument has been a family with the same income, and living in same type pf property, pays differently because of the town of residence.Because of higher property taxes in Hopkinton and Richmond someone with the financial situation you describe would be generally speaking, have a tougher time paying taxes in the other two towns than Charlestown.

    Comment by Scott Bill Hirst — June 23, 2008 @ 4:40 pm | Reply

  161. Exactly right Mr. Hirst. If CharihoParent’s father-in-law lived in Hopkinton he’d be paying 2 1/2 half times more in taxes. How many hours would he need to work then?

    This is the problem for all Hopkinton father-in-laws but it bothers people like CharihoParent not one whit. I guess you have to be related to him for him to have any empathy.

    Comment by Curious Resident — June 23, 2008 @ 4:58 pm | Reply

  162. I would think everyone by now would realize CharihoParent has contributed zero worthwhile information to any discussion. Ignore is the best medecine ignorance.

    Comment by RS — June 23, 2008 @ 5:09 pm | Reply

  163. CR, did I ever say it didn’t bother me one bit? Let’s see if we can get this through that thick headed skull with a pea size brain in it. What I’m saying is that it’s also unfair of Hopkinton to shift the financial burden to those who are just as unfortunate in Charlestown or Richmond. Is it right that my father-in-law who is now working 5-6 days week, 7 to 9 hrs per day, to make ends meet would have to work even more. He’s in a very modest home but Social Security can’t cover his expenses along with his taxes. There has to be some answer to spread this out somehow but don’t shift it all towards one town. Here’s another point, you shift 57% of the financial burden to Charlestown while they have under 30% of the school population. What would then stop Hopkinton from wanting to spend money foolishly, Charlestown would then be left with the bigger bulk of the bill, not a whole heck of a lot to stop Hopkinton or Richmond from then wanting to spend more.

    RS, may I ask what you have contributed besides calling people down? Taking temper tantrums when someone doesn’t agree with your position? You’re also laughable because you say to ignore yet you don’t do it yourself. You’re really a joke and a loser!

    Comment by CharihoParent — June 23, 2008 @ 5:27 pm | Reply

  164. I guess your father missed the part of Social Security being a supplement, not meant to live off of… in your mind poor planning should be the taxpayers burden. Get real.

    Comment by RS — June 23, 2008 @ 6:17 pm | Reply

  165. Not my father, my father-in-law… Guess you failed in reading comprehension 101. Unfortunatly for him, they never had much to put away for savings, for an IRA or anything else that might have helped. My mother-in-law was on disablility due to a severe back injury she suffered. RS, you really don’t get it, do you? They are not the only ones in the tri-town area that didn’t have much to be able to put away for retirement. My parents put away for their retirement but both of them were able to work until they were 65. Even at that, they are looking at the end of their retirement funds and soon won’t have much of anything else besides Social Security to live on. You say I don’t care but listening to you, you’re extremely cold hearted in regards to the plight of the seniors. Buffoon!

    Comment by CharihoParent — June 23, 2008 @ 6:24 pm | Reply

  166. RS, I take it that you can’t even follow your own advice. I feel sorry for your children. You can dish out advice but you fail to follow it yourself. You show that you really do have solid membership in the Buffoon Brigade. Don’t like what I say, then shut your big fat trap! Again, what have you contributed besides constant put downs and name calling?

    Comment by CharihoParent — June 23, 2008 @ 6:33 pm | Reply

  167. One more question for the Buffoon Brigade, is it anyone’s fault that Hopkinton failed to grow it’s tax base?

    Comment by CharihoParent — June 23, 2008 @ 6:50 pm | Reply

  168. I argue with CharihoParent simply in case there are other people reading who also have a extremely low IQ and don’t understand Hopkinton’s valid and logical position. I’m beginning to think he may be one of a kind. Except for Mr. Petit making similar arguments from time to time, no one else seems nearly as dimwitted as him.

    His latest bit of idiocy is the lack of understanding that his Charlestown father-in-law would be two and half times less fortunate if he lived in Hopkinton or Richmond where his Chariho tax bill would be two and half times higher. Why is this something CharihoParent can’t grasp? I do not know, but over and over again he whines about his poor father-in-law without a scintilla of recognition that it would be, and is, worse for the citizens of Hopkinton and Richmond.

    As for tax equity resulting in Richmond or Hopkinton wanting to spend more, this makes no sense since each family would be spending the same amount. As it stands now, with Charlestown families spending less, they can afford to waste money at Chariho and they do…while dragging Hopkinton along for the ride.

    Comment by Curious Resident — June 23, 2008 @ 7:33 pm | Reply

  169. I only wish my tax burden were as low as when our parent’s(and CP’s) were working. Just imagine how much one could save then. It’s always the same theme with the tax and spend liberals(socialist), it not our fault we couldn’t save, we were dealt a bad hand, etc, etc. If I wanted to whine I could tell quite a story about my own hard luck upbringing, but instead I persevered and worked hard and didn’t sit around claiming poor me. We all make our choices. I don’t worry about my mother or in-laws because I will always see to it they are taken care of. That’s what a family is for, not the government.

    Except in la la liberal land.

    Comment by RS — June 23, 2008 @ 8:48 pm | Reply

  170. CR, once more with your proverbial bull excrement and patently absurd interjections. I understand that he would be hurting more in Hopkinton, but your bull excrement is that you want him to suffer and do with even less than what he has now. That’s your idiocy for not understanding that point What I’ve said is that what you want isn’t fair to Charlestown residents either. Something needs to be done to balance things out but Hopkinton and Richmond should still bear more of the burden since they use more of the facilities. If Charlestown should increase their students, then they share more in the burden. My problem is how do you work this out without creating a bookkeeping nightmare? There has to be something between what you see as Utopia and what Charlestown currently has. What is the answer, right now, I don’t know and I admit that. Do you have any better ideas on how this could be done without shifting 50 some percent of the burden to the town that actually uses the least? There has to be a middle ground somewhere. Some check and balance on all towns so that one town doesn’t have a runaway advantage over another. Some way of being able to provide a stabalizing tax rate so that if there’s a sudden major change, most likely resulting a reduction in their tax roll of one town, there isn’t a sudden dramatic increase in taxes for the other two towns.

    Don’t discount the notion of tax equity causing a willingness for more spending. By your own admission, Hopkinton would be more willing to pass a bond if there was tax equity. You’ve so much as admitted you’re willing to spend if the taxes are less for you. What you propose is that the tax rate be the same across the board for all three towns. I would like to see the statistics for the average home value for Hopkinton versus the average home value for Charlestown. I understand that a tax rate, as you propose would be the same on a $300,000 home no matter what community it was in but I’m curious to see how many homes in Charlestown may be valued much more than that just because they happen to be in Charlestown and not Hopkinton.

    You also say they can afford to waste money, you make it sound like the average Charlestown year-round resident is rolling in the dough, that’s another bull excrement statement coming from you. I don’t feel that’s a very accurate statement coming from you but then again, you’re very much known for your inaccuracies, mis-truths and outlandish, totally false assumptions, statements and accusations. What taxpayer actually wants to throw their hard earned money into taxes? I know you don’t and neither do the residents of Charlestown or Richmond.

    Are you sure you’re not a Hopkinton official or a former one? You speak like a politician, much like SBH. For you to make that kind of statement about willing to waste money is another major false ASSUmption on your part. Maybe you’re a disgruntled former Chariho Employee, perhaps got fired for making false accusations while employed at Chariho.

    It’s so much fun showing the absurdity and lies of the Buffoon Brigade. I’m thinking I might take out nomination papers this week for the School Committee and really get the Buffoon Brigade in a tizzy and get their undershorts all knotted up.

    Comment by CharihoParent — June 23, 2008 @ 9:10 pm | Reply

  171. RS… more bull excrement, those who know me know that I’m far from being a liberal. Socialist? Now that’s really laughable. What you want for tax equity borders much closer to socialism than anything I’ve come up with. My thoughts come no where close to being a liberal ora socialist. I’m for fairness, not just broad based changes for the appeasement of one part of the population. I’d like to find some middle ground here but you’re stuck in a one way mind set that can’t see to either side of the blinders.

    They also had less earning earning power when they were workers. Yes, the tax burden was less but so was the income. Doubt you could have saved much more than what you do today. In fact, my parents did fairly well saving even though they brought up three children. My mother was financially astitute and was careful how and where she spent her money. Unfortunatly for them, my father has had some rather serious health issues over the last few years and that has drained a lot of their savings. But then again, I wouldn’t expect you to understand that, you’re a cold hearted SOB when it comes to anyone other than yourself.

    Oh yeah, what happened to ignoring me again? Still can’t follow your own advice, can you? Buffoon!

    Comment by CharihoParent — June 23, 2008 @ 9:19 pm | Reply

  172. What a moron. For the umpteenth time Charlestown is not a person. It doesn’t matter how much Charlestown pays because Charlestown DOES NOT eat, breath or drink. The people in Charlestown, Hopkinton, and Richmond DO eat, breath and drink and the PEOPLE in Hopkinton pay more than twice as much as the PEOPLE in Charlestown.

    Forget tax rates and tax bases and any other tax crap. It is PEOPLE who count. It is PEOPLE who pay the price for the waste and irresponsibility at Chariho. The PEOPLE in Hopkinton pay double for crappy educational results as the PEOPLE in Charlstown. An inlaw in Hopkinton pays more than twice what CP’s inlaw pays in Charlestown. What a load of hooey comes out of CP’s big, fat mouth.

    CP won’t get it. He can barely string together two coherent sentences, but for anyone else who cares the debate is about PEOPLE and not towns. Talk about absurd. I look forward to any school board meeting with CP. With George Carlin dead CP makes a suitable replacement.

    Comment by Real Question — June 23, 2008 @ 9:22 pm | Reply

  173. Same old Marxist tactics, if you don’t let the tax and spenders in your wallet then your a coldhearted SOB…..

    Go join your followers at the State House and tell it to channel 10, the rest of the world is busy working, making a living and taking care of our families, not trying to suckle off multiple government nipples.

    Comment by RS — June 23, 2008 @ 10:40 pm | Reply

  174. Keeping Taxes Down, subheading, Carcieri rightly defends cities from auditors.Providence Journal August 8, 2003 (?), Paul Grimes.


    The Principle of allowing municipalities to sort through their own internal budget and spending debates is the hallmark of the American Federal system. After all, it is the local community that best understands its budgetary priorities in balancing prudent finances with the need for local services.

    In his July 29 Commentary piece (2003)(“Laffey’s (Cranston Mayor Steven Laffey) audit shows need for reform”), Ernest Almonte, Rhode Island’s auditor general , make the argument for stripping local control over selection of the management consultants that review local school committees’ business operations. This review only takes place in the event that school officials sue communities for more funding, which very probably leads to higher local taxes.

    Almonte’s change is in the form of an amendement, sponsored by state Sen. Hanna Gallo (D.Cranston), to the so-called Caroulo statute. Governor Carcieri rightly vetoed the amendment, as it represents an unneeded and unwarranted encroachment onto local affairs by the auditor general.

    Under Caroulo, if a school committee sues a city or town for more money, the chief executive (mayor or town manager) may commission a “program and finacial audit”, or management study (Blogger note, sounds like something Mr. Petit, Mr. School Bill Hirst and I believe a Hopkinton Councilor asked from back in the mid to late nineties), of the school department. this provision makes obvious sense.

    Caroulo cases are extraordinarily expensive, divisive, and limited to the fiscal year at hand.

    As a deterrent to school committees’ growing to fond of using the Caruolo statute to try to obtain additional funding through the courts, the local chief executives draw on this tool to probe the school systems. This assures the taxpayers that long-term programs and operational efficiences are being explored. As an added incentive for school commitees to think twice about invoking Caroulo, the school committees must pay for such studies.

    In Cranston, this procees worked in texbook fashion, In 2003-04, the Cranston School Commitee sued the city for an additional $3.2 million of taxpayers money. Notwithstanding the schools’ abysmal failure to prevail in court (the judge deemed their case “woefully inadequate”), the performance audit began as set forth in the Caroulo statute.

    In selecting the consulting firm that conducted the study, the Laffey adminsitration conducted a public bidding process and awarded the engagement to a Massachusetts-based firm that specializes in performance-based budgeting, while novel in rhode Island, is widely practiced throughout the United States.

    What is interesting is that the very bid specifications for the school study that Cranston promolgated has been drafted by Mr. Almonte’s office! The results of this study identified millions of dollars in potential savings for the Cranston public schools, ranging from reforming the special-education program to contracting out the school busing and lunch programs (Cranston is one of the few communities that still operate own bus programs).

    The balanced report (which can be found on the city’s Website, ) also lauded the school for their success in many programming and curricular areas.

    It is puzzling that Mr. Almonte would expend such effort criticizing a study that his office helped shape. Mr. Almonte, appointed to his job by a legistative commitee headed by former house Speaker John Harwood, asserts that his office hearalds the principles of integrity, reliability, accountability and independence. Yet the mere insertion of his office into local matters, given his politically appointed status, threatens the very principles that he claims to uphold.

    Readily participating in an effort to discredit a highly competent management accountabing firm and its report in an effort to advance a political interest is no way to maintain the principles of integrity and independence. And he lessen, not heightens, his crediblity when he refers to general-accounting standards (they apply to independent audits of financial statements and not management studies), or claims to have offered to do the study for free (alleged nearly 18 months after the bids went out-on the eve of Mayor Laffey’s highly publicized primary election).

    It should be pointed out that in the years of a Democratic mayor and a 9-0 Democratic City Council, in which late audits and grossly underfunded pension contibutions were standard practice-contributing to Cranstons financial Armageddon-he did little to force, compel, cajole or otherwise pursuade the city to embrace prudent financial management.

    The proper role for the auditor general in this matter is to serve as a resource in this matter is to serve as a resource for the communities, to help them navigate the difficulties of local financing. This arm’s-length roles preserves the principles advocated by Mr. Almonte, as well as leaving it up to the local community to sort out their funding prioritities. It also maintains a seperation of powers between the legislative branch and the executive-in this case, local executives.

    Finally, let us not move to impugn the Caruolo Act for its foresight and obvious awareness of the politics of local school funding. In short, this is one of the few tools that mayors and town managers have to keep spending and taxes down.

    In vetoing the legislation to amend the Caroulo law, Governor Carieri correctly helped to keep local decisions at the local level.

    Article ‘penned’ by Paul Grimes, City of Cranston’s , director of adminsitration. August 8, 2003.

    Chariho School Committee members should have much to gleeen from this article.

    Be Well.

    Comment by James Hirst — June 23, 2008 @ 11:01 pm | Reply

  175. If my father-in-law was struggling to get by and was considering going to work after retirement I’d make damn sure he had a home to live and a family to love. I’d be telling a far different story than CP. I certainly wouldn’t be supporting one town’s people paying half what another town’s people pay for the same exact school just because my relative benefited from the unequity. Screw Hopkinton families because CP’s relatives don’t live in Hopkinton. What an admirable attitude.

    Comment by Truth or Consequences — June 24, 2008 @ 12:05 am | Reply

  176. RS, you are one funny member of the Buffoon Brigade. You really are an idiot. Once again throwing out a great lie.

    TorC, another one who says things without knowing. You don’t know what we do for my father-in-law. What my father-in-law will accept and won’t accept from his family. TorC doesn’t know the entire family situation yet loves to make grand accusations. Another admiral Buffoon Brigade member!

    It sure does appear that the Buffoon Brigade has failed at reading comprehension. If they read and understood what I’ve said, they would realize what they are saying is to totally off base. What a collective bunch of idiots! And you think you represent the majority of Hopkinton voters? What a pathetic bunch you truly are.

    Why does the Buffoon Brigade love ASSUme so much about others when they know so little. Truly shows that collective lot of them don’t have a whole brain amongst them.

    Comment by CharihoParent — June 24, 2008 @ 5:01 am | Reply

  177. Time now for a lesson for the Buffoon Brigade in the terms that they like to throw out:

    the belief or theory that a country’s wealth (its land, mines, industries, railways etc) should belong to the people as a whole, not to private owners

    advocating or following the socialist principles; “socialistic government”

    The political and economic philosophy of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels in which the concept of class struggle plays a central role in understanding society’s allegedly inevitable development from bourgeois oppression under capitalism to a socialist and ultimately classless society.

    an adherent of Karl Marx or his theories

    Liberal: (after reading this, people will see that the Buffoon Brigade is contraditory in their labelling of people, they will use the labels that fit them for the occasion without thinking about what they are saying)

    Not limited to or by established, traditional, orthodox, or authoritarian attitudes, views, or dogmas; free from bigotry.

    Favoring proposals for reform, open to new ideas for progress, and tolerant of the ideas and behavior of others; broad-minded.

    Of, relating to, or characteristic of liberalism.

    Liberal Of, designating, or characteristic of a political party founded on or associated with principles of social and political liberalism, especially in Great Britain, Canada, and the United States.

    Now I know that the Buffoon Brigade will dismiss the terms as explained above. They prefer to use these terms in a demeaning way in attempt to sway the arguements away from themselves. It is much easier for them to attack the messenger then to attack the message because they do not have the collective intellect to see beyond the box. I have yet to hear anything from them that even attempts to come up with some common ground that can be dicussed, some common ground for compromise. Is the current taxing in the school district fair and equitable, no. Is throwing the burden off to Charleston to make them pay 50 some percent of the costs when they have the lowest number of students attending, it certainly isn’t. There has to be some middle ground here. Would someone who holds to the ideas of Socialism or Marxism look for a middle ground? Heck no, they would want to totally and equally spread the entire burden regardless of social or economic position. After all, that’s what socialism and marxism is, everyone is treated the same. Now doesn’t that sound more like what the Buffoon Brigade wants, everyone treated the same? Guess we now know who the real Socialist and Marxist are.

    Comment by CharihoParent — June 24, 2008 @ 8:02 am | Reply

  178. CharihoParent,

    I’m a liberal. Others here are conservatives. Others prefer to go unlabeled. We all share the same philosophy: Chariho should be a taxing district which distributes the burden of education equally among all members of the district. The differences between enrollments of Charlestown and Hopkinton are marginal. Yet the difference between what a Hopkinton resident and a Charlestown resident pays for education are significant. You cannot explain that away or pretend you don’t see it. If you truly don’t understand that, then you are a fool. But I do not think you are a fool. I think you simply don’t want to pay more money than you are already paying. And that is a valid, yet selfish argument. But that is fine. However, until you and the rest of your representatives decide to compromise, Hopkinton will be doing our best to scuttle each and every bond issue, even if we think it is important and necessary. That is the definition of a Mexican standoff.

    And you should really frame your insult like this: ASSume. It makes more sense than ASSUme. I have no idea what and ASSU is.

    Once again, Hopkinton is pretty well united against being screwed over. And I don’t mind being a member of the Buffoon Brigade. I actually preferred Woodchopper better, but it will do. Hopkinites are so dumb we actually wear your insults like a badge. Amazing, isn’t it? I’m even have patches made up…

    Comment by Fat Albert — June 24, 2008 @ 8:37 am | Reply

  179. For a while I thought he meant baboon brigade 😉 The imaginary father-in-law won’t take help from his relatives but has no problem screwing over anybody not related.

    I’m a Marxist and I agree with the majority in Hopkinton who are tired of paying more than double what families pay in Charlestown. My favorite Marx went by the stage name Gummo. Did you know their real names were Leonard (Chico), Adolph (Harpo), Julius (Groucho), Milton (Gummo), and Herbert (Zeppo)? There were no comedy teams named Socialist, Conservative, or Liberal. CPs definitions do make for good comedy.

    Comment by Truth or Consequences — June 24, 2008 @ 9:09 am | Reply

  180. Fat Albert, pay attention man! Who threw out the labels? Rather disingenuous on your part. I take it that you have never heard of the breakdown for the word assume. For your education, ass/u/me. When yo assume it makes an A** out of U not ME. The buffoon brigade loves making assumptions of others without knowing anything about them.

    Comment by CharihoParent — June 24, 2008 @ 9:39 am | Reply

  181. Back to the topic this is from an article on Milton and Rose Friedman. Sounds like they could explain school choice very well. Is there video available on the internet of the Friedman’s discussing school choice? I bet they can make more believers of vouchers then anyone here.

    “They argued for school choice in the 1950s, were early supporters of an all-volunteer military, and argued for limitations and accountability in government spending long before the Bridge to Nowhere was a twinkle in Ted Stevens’ appropriating eye. Milton’s arguments for competition for the postal service makes him the intellectual father of FedEx.”

    “The power of their teachings lies in the Friedmans’ ability to communicate, not like academics, but like storytellers. Milton uses the simple story of a pencil’s production to explain how free markets not only “promote productive efficiency, but…foster harmony and peace among the peoples of the world.” He sits outside the last working one-room schoolhouse in Vermont to illustrate how loss of parental control leads to failing schools in the New England countryside and the inner city alike.”

    Comment by Truth or Consequences — June 24, 2008 @ 9:53 am | Reply

  182. Once again I have to keep correcting CP on their ignorance:

    Not that you have read anything you linked, so I doubt you will read this. Get educated.Get real.

    Comment by RS — June 24, 2008 @ 11:27 am | Reply

  183. Taken from the above posted link:

    The social democratic governments in the post war period introduced measures of social reform and wealth redistribution through state welfare and taxation policy.

    WEALTH REDISTRIBUTION THROUGH STATE WELFARE AND TAXATION POLICY… case you have trouble making it that far inthe article.

    Comment by RS — June 24, 2008 @ 11:30 am | Reply

  184. WEALTH REDISTRIBUION THROUGH A TAXATION POLICY!! .. That’s exactly what you are trying to do, RS, not me! … You want to take away from Charlestown because some of them have it easier and give it to Hopkinton because some of them are so fortunate. Thanks so much, RS, for showing us who the true socialist are. God bless you for finaly coming to your senses. There is still some hope for you, RS.

    Comment by CharihoParent — June 24, 2008 @ 11:42 am | Reply

  185. RS… here’s another little snipet from Wikipedia:

    These social critics criticised the excesses of poverty and inequality of the Industrial Revolution, and advocated reforms such as the egalitarian distribution of wealth and the transformation of society into small communities in which private property was to be abolished.

    Have I ever said anything about private propter being abolished? Nope, never did. I firmly believe that we all have to right to have private property

    Oh yes.. another little wonderful snipet from Wikipedia’s article on Socialism:

    Since the 19th century, socialists have not agreed on a common doctrine or program. Various adherents of socialist movements are split into differing and sometimes opposing branches, particularly between reformists and revolutionaries. Some socialists have championed the complete nationalization of the means of production, while social democrats have proposed selective nationalization of key industries within the framework of mixed economies. Some Marxists, including those inspired by the Soviet model of economic development, have advocated the creation of CENTRALLY PLANNED ECONOMIES directed by a state that owns all the means of production.

    Again, RS, where have I ever avocated for any type of centrally planned economy? If anything, what I’m advocating is far from that. Buth then again, you have such a thick skill that only a pea sized brain can fit into it so you cannont comprehened that what you advocate for is actually much closer to socialism that what I’ll ever be. Good day, RS, sorry to say but once again, you’ve shown us that you don’t know what you’re talking about and are a LOSER!

    Comment by CharihoParent — June 24, 2008 @ 11:50 am | Reply

  186. Another Tidbit for RS (from the same article)… Who’s initials must stand for Really Stupid because he cannot support the arguement of what socialism is.

    Democratic socialism is an international movement for freedom, social justice and solidarity.

    Well now, if I was for social justice and solidatiry, I would be right on the band wagon with across the board tax equalization, wouldn’t I? After all, isn’t tax equalization a form of social justice and solidarity? Goodness, gracious, sounds like RS, RQ, TorC and the other members of the Buffoon Brigade are really the ones for socialism.

    Comment by CharihoParent — June 24, 2008 @ 12:00 pm | Reply

  187. Well, well, well, look at this from the end of the article on Socialism as presented by RS:

    Hayek further argued that the SOCIAL CONTROL OVER DISTRIBUTION OF WEALTH and private property ADVOCATED by socialists cannot be achieved WITHOUT REDUCED prosperity for the general populace, and a loss of political and economic freedoms

    Well now, I certainly haven’t prescribed to the policy of social control over the distrubution of wealth. In fact, I’ve railed against it. It’s exactly what the buffoon brigade wants to do. Do I want to reduce (the keyword here is REDUCE) anyone’s prosperity? Nope, certainly have never advocated for that either. But the Buffoon Brigade certainly wants to reduce some of the wage earner’s in the area prospertity.

    Try harder next time, RS. Maybe the next time you’ll be able to show us how Marxism fits into your position on this.

    Comment by CharihoParent — June 24, 2008 @ 12:17 pm | Reply

  188. oops.. #184 should be as follows:

    give it to Hopkinton because some of them AREN’T so fortunate.

    Comment by CharihoParent — June 24, 2008 @ 12:18 pm | Reply

  189. So you whine about the desparity of your in-laws situation and expect the government(taxpayers) to help out, yet you don’t support redistribution schemes?

    I remember reading once some poster wondered if you weren’t part of the chariho stooge(admin/faculty)brigade. I think you may be because you only grasp 1/3 of what you read and only 1/3 of chariho students can pass the standardized testing(necap), so analytically the presumption is you reap what you sow…

    Comment by RS — June 24, 2008 @ 12:49 pm | Reply

  190. Tax equity is not a redistribution of wealth. Using taxes for social programs and welfare handouts is the redistribution of wealth. RYSE would be a great example of a socialist program.

    CP is clueless as usual. HOpkinton is tired of being forced to fund the redistribution of wealth by neighboring townspeople who doesn’t bear the same cost for the redistribution. Tax equality is definitely not socialism. Only a complete idiot would try to link the two. CP qualifies.

    For anyone too stupid to remember – Charlestown is not a person it is an abstraction. Living 100 feet from your neighbor in Richmond shouldn’t double your education costs.

    Comment by Real Question — June 24, 2008 @ 12:59 pm | Reply

  191. True, but the current tax structure involving Chariho is essentially redistributing wealth.

    Comment by RS — June 24, 2008 @ 1:09 pm | Reply

  192. Yes spending taxes on education is technically a redistribution of wealth. We’ve been doing it since around the turn of the last century and I don’t see it going away. The argument is that education advances society which is to everyone’s benefit. This could be said of many redistribution schemes. Most new government programs where wealth is redistributed use similar rhetoric to justify the redistribution.

    Sometimes we have to deal with the hard realities. Publically funded education is here to stay. The problem in recent years is the add-on social programs which have been labeled necessary for education. Social workers, psychlogists, and many special education programs have fallen under this expanded definition of education.

    The Chariho tax issue is what occurs when you redistribute wealth but put a bigger burden on one community over another. Charlestown gets equal say in how my money will be redistributed, but somebody just like me in Charlestown pays much, much less than me. Why does this person get an equal vote with me when the results of the vote cost me more? This is taxation without equal representation.

    CP is either too dense to understand these fairly simple concepts or he is part of the system and throws nonsense around looking to muddle the debate. Whatever his true story, he does serve as a useful foil. Think how much more active this website is when he puts up his nonsensical arguments. If we hope to beat back the latest attempt by Chariho to get into our bank accounts, we will need to keep talking as more people come looking for answers.

    Comment by Curious Resident — June 24, 2008 @ 1:27 pm | Reply

  193. RQ and RS, what you want is to take away from what Charlestown residents have! That’s a redistribution of wealth. If tax equity is is not socialism then what I have said is not socialism. Funny how the arguement is OK one way but not another in your book. Socialism in its purest form takes away and evenly distributes wealth or more actually takes away from those who have and hands it down to those who don’t have as much. Both of you have a crazy mixed up notion terms that you love to throw out at others.

    RS, please tell me where I said I expected the government to help out my father-in-law, please show me that. I’d love to see that! One more ridiculous, idiotic statement on your part.

    Comment by CharihoParent — June 24, 2008 @ 1:52 pm | Reply

  194. CR, go back and reread what Socialism truly is. It tries to make every on the same. You dare say I muddle the debate? You, CR, are truly a joke!

    Comment by CharihoParent — June 24, 2008 @ 1:54 pm | Reply

  195. Socialism is elitism at its core. The politicians are at the top and make the decision for the little people. Of course socialists deny this reality, but socialism exists and it is always the government types at the top living off the working class.

    Capitalism rewards producers. The smarter you work…the more value you bring to your fellow man…the more you are rewarded. Capitalism brings forward the best while tempering the worse. No one pays for incompetence in a truly capitalistic system. Chariho would not survive competition as it is currently operated. It does not bring enough value for its cost.

    The notion that equitable taxing is a form of socialism is plain stupid. Taxes can be used as a tool for socialism, but making sure everyone pays equal taxes for equal services is certainly not socialism. Once again CharihoParent can’t be educated, but if any one else is dumb enough to think equal taxes is the same as socialism I’d love to hear why you think this is true?

    Comment by Curious Resident — June 24, 2008 @ 2:41 pm | Reply

  196. Constipated Resident, taxation is not the at the root of socialism. Plain and simple. But then again, it was your buddy, Really Stupid, who made the initial accusation. Socialism at the root is to do with the “goal of a socio-economic system in which property and the distribution of wealth are subject to control by the public.” Distribution of wealth has the connotation of no one group having more than another when it comes to wealth. Socialism speaks against capitalism and private property. If you can’t understand that, CR, I suggest that you are actually the one who cannot be educated.

    Comment by CharihoParent — June 24, 2008 @ 4:21 pm | Reply

  197. Taxation is not at the root of socialism…good boy. Here’s a treat.

    Taxes are one mechanism for the redistribution of wealth, but taxes are not inherently socialistic. They can be used for the general welfare which is not the same as taking from one group to give to another group.

    Now for your next trick bark twice if you understand that social programs which take the earnings of one group and purchase services for another group is redistribution of wealth. Bark once if you remain oblivious.

    Comment by Curious Resident — June 24, 2008 @ 4:36 pm | Reply

  198. Constipated Resident, you’re quite correct when you that social programs which take earnings from the citzens and purchase services for another is a form of redistribution of wealth. You paying more taxes because you have a lower tax base with which to tap into is not a redistribution of wealth. Your tax money is not being used IN Charlestown to the benefit of any Charlestown resident, hence no redistribution of wealth to them.

    I’m waiting to hear your barking… Maybe you can do better than me and bark three times to show that you understand.

    Comment by CharihoParent — June 24, 2008 @ 6:25 pm | Reply

  199. Do you have even the slightest idea what you write?

    I didn’t make any argument that the tax situation is a redistribution of weatlh. The tax situation is inequitable. Certain programs at Chariho are a redistribution of wealth but it is a different issue than the inequitable tax situation.

    You don’t get it. Fine. We know. Your attempts at explaining what you don’t even understand are amusing, but I do feel badly that you use up any of your brain cells on an issue beyond your ability to comprehend. Spend some time in the corner with your mouth agape. Maybe you’ll catch a few flies thus adding a couple of IQ points.

    Comment by Curious Resident — June 24, 2008 @ 6:47 pm | Reply

  200. CP represents Richmond perfectly. If he isn’t already one of their leaders, he should be appointed king.

    Hopkinton pays more than twice what Charlestown pays. Hopkinton wants taxes to be equal for everyone (people). Voting on budgets and bonds will then reflect the equality. Until we are taxed the same Hopkinton puts limits on how much is spent. We know we can’t keep up with Charlestown’s ability to spend. Makes sense.

    Charlestown pays less than half what Hopkinton pays. Most of the families could easily spend more on education and their representatives often discuss expanding programs and building new facilities. They fight tooth and nail to maintain the tax disparity. Makes sense.

    Richmond pays more than twice what Charlestown pays. They don’t care. They don’t want taxes to be equal for everyone. They never, ever reject any budget or bond at Chariho. They fight against being taxed equally. Their tax base is dwarfed by Charlestown’s tax base yet they join with Charlestown’s efforts to expand programs and build new. Makes no sense.

    As you can see from my summary above CP is the perfect person to speak for Richmond. Bring on the flies!

    Comment by Real Question — June 24, 2008 @ 7:10 pm | Reply

  201. Really Questionable and Constipated Resident. You’re both too hysterical for words. You say one thing, I show your fallacy then you switch. Too darn funny!

    Comment by CharihoParent — June 24, 2008 @ 7:38 pm | Reply

  202. Bob,
    Most of those regs have terms such as “adequate education” which are subjective. It is the schools interpretation of those terms that sets the tone. As an example, RYSE used funds to help a parent find a job because they deemed it necessary for the child’s education. Obviously, the parent didn’t qualify for services under the welfare program (or they would have utilized that service – if they didn’t then we are just wasteful). Assuming the parent wasn’t qualified – the school took it upon itself to say “society doesn’t qualify that person for these services, but we will make that decision for ourselves and do it anyway” (using our money)

    Regulations can be used any way you want to interpret them (have you ever seen 2 lawyers completely agree on interpretations of law?) – They can also use regs as an excuse and defense. Remember when SBH suggested that we cut $2mm – the response – “we can’t because of the mandates” – but they ended up with a $2.8m surplus.

    Mandates are also routinely ignored. Look at all the Providence schools that ignore the mandates – indeed, a large percentage of students with IEP’s state wide don’t receive all services prescribed. They don’t shut down the schools. They won’t shut down Chariho if we re-interpret’ the mandates.

    Its not the laws – its the philosophy of the organization that interprets them. Obviously, I’m open about my views of the school. I think Ricci has shown his agenda several times. Such as when he only wrote about portions of the data provided by Thornton in the grade reconfiguration issue (when Ricci wrote the letter to the Sun – a timely topic considering today’s post).

    That’s the mentality/agenda that is interpreting the mandates.

    Comment by Bill Felkner — June 24, 2008 @ 7:41 pm | Reply

  203. Bob,
    Not sure if I answered this one yet – i’m in the middle of a technical upgrade (which always gets worse before it gets better) so this may be repetitive.

    Don’t feel off because you haven’t heard much about vouchers. It’s very taboo in the north east and is just now creeping into the lexicon.

    Voucher is a term that means any sort of funding mechanism that empowers parents with consumer purchasing power. Basically, the town collects taxes and puts it all into a pool to educate the kids (based on current funding levels). Each kid gets to go to the pool and take out ($X – tbd by council) and spend it just like they would if it were cash. We hope that the parents put as much effort into the selecting the school as they do a car – but most won’t. Although, I also don’t agree with the thought that involved parents will leave the public school. Especially in high school, the big public schools have the best sports programs and this will be an appeal. Parents that are involved with their kids education will say they can overcome the shortcomings of the public system in order to utilize the sports. Honestly, I will be torn with that decision myself. Kat and I were both involved athletes in school. I believe the private school provides more and better academic efforts (albeit limited personal experience so far) – we will be torn when it comes to the high school years.

    But back to vouchers – The details of transportation, who is eligible, amounts, etc… can be worked out and should be fluid. But there are plenty of examples around the world from which to pull ideas and models (I spoke with someone from Sweden recently (Dow employee) they have choice and provide some good ideas – which always bring me back to the fact that not all schools are good for all kids. We need the market to provide a variety (like the variety we have with just about everything else that is not supplied via a monopoly).

    “How to” do vouchers is easy enough to figure out – having the political courage to stand up the establishment is the tough part. Especially in RI.

    Comment by Bill Felkner — June 24, 2008 @ 8:16 pm | Reply

  204. As we discuss allowing parents to make education choices, in Canada a judge decided that a father disciplining his daughter by keeping her from a school camping trip was too excessive and the judge ruled the daughter should go on the camping trip. She went.

    The daughter had put her picture on a dating website…she was 12 years old.

    For those who think letting government/school officials take over your parenting duties is a great idea, leave me out of it. My 12 year old son or daughter wouldn’t be allowed out of my sight if they were on the internet looking for dates.

    Comment by Curious Resident — June 24, 2008 @ 10:02 pm | Reply

  205. Bill

    Thank you for your responses. I am interested in learning more and have done a little research on my own into vouchers. I will continue. I do agree that a lot of the questions I have asked are just a matter of sitting down and going over them; coming up with a way of doing them (ie. transporation) and putting it into motion. I hope the TC at least gives you the chance to look at a lot of differnt ways vouchers have been setup and you mold yours around them. One of the points I was trying to make in one of my posts was that, just because it works in one part of the country or world doesn’t mean it will work here. I am not speaking of vouchers in particular as I am talking all the little intricacies that go into making up a voucher program.

    Comment by Bob Petit — June 25, 2008 @ 1:41 pm | Reply

  206. Hi!
    I can respect people are against an equalized tax rate. But CharihoParent how do you offer to solve the problem of the fiscal disparities in the district.
    The “real deal” is the number of choices/solutions are limited and are topped by an equalized tax rate or Charlesatown leaving. Criticizing Hopkinton and its tax base more than half of Charlestown’s but higher than Richmond tax base doesn’t solve the problem. Even with generous economic development the base will NOT be seriously closed between cHarlestown and individually with the other two towns.

    Comment by Scott Bill Hirst — June 25, 2008 @ 2:40 pm | Reply

  207. SBH……YOURE the REAL deal

    Comment by what? — June 25, 2008 @ 6:58 pm | Reply

  208. Scott,
    Pay attention please. I said I didn’t have the answer but we need to think outside of the box and come up with something that would be a compromise. So far, the best thing that I’ve heard is what Mr. Lathrop has suggested according to the Westerly Sun.

    Comment by CharihoParent — June 25, 2008 @ 7:18 pm | Reply

  209. Hello CP,
    Thinking ‘outside the box’ is exactly what we are attempting to do. RE: building proposals, renovations, contracts, vouchers, funding.

    Mr. Lathrop had a number of options to discuss with the other town financial officers. Nothing came of it because they would not discuss. He has thought about a number of ways that we can begin to address the problem. Richmond and Charlestown must decide if they are willing to listen and to discuss and to compromise between all options. We are trying.

    Comment by BarbaraC — June 26, 2008 @ 10:10 pm | Reply

  210. You’ll like this one…

    Comment by iamishmael — June 26, 2008 @ 10:13 pm | Reply

  211. Hopkinton surely has been the one town thinking outside the box. Your listing is very informative Mrs. Capalbo and Hopkinton has brought up even more ideas such as realignment of grades, partial withdrawal, and more.

    Charlestown just this week brought forth some resolutions…all of which centered around withdrawal. Because of their tremendous taxing advantage, I’ll be glad to see them gone, but their list hardly qualifies as out of the box thinking. They made similar proposals a few years ago. Their voters rejected it.

    Richmond wants us to approve a bond and keep our mouth shut from there. This is hardly new ideas. They approve all spending and detest any dissent. It’s been this way forever. No out of the box proposals. Unless a vote of confidence for Mr. Ricci qualifies as out of the box in Richmond?

    Comment by Curious Resident — June 27, 2008 @ 11:12 am | Reply

  212. Just when I thought we saw the last of the idiots…..along came iamishmael…….this know it all moron really thinks he’s something. Another idiot who professes to know all the answers but wont run for office. Moron

    Comment by what? — June 27, 2008 @ 11:36 pm | Reply

  213. Just a bit of an FYI, look who was opposed to Mayoral Academy and charter schools while allowing for the stranglehold that the unions have, none other that Hopkinton’s very own Rep. Kennedy:

    Opponents to the proposal to expand charter school flexibility, who sought instead to maintain the status quo for charters included:

    Rep. Ajello (D-Providence)
    Rep. Amaral (R-Portsmouth, Tiverton)
    Rep. Church (Burrillville, North Smithfield)
    Rep. DeSimone (D-Providence)
    Rep. Diaz (D-Providence) <– yet her own child went to a charter school!
    Rep. Fellela (D-Johnston)
    Rep. Ferri (D-Warwick)
    Rep. Giannini (D-Providence)
    Rep. Handy (D-Cranston)
    Rep. Kennedy (D-Hopkinton, Westerly)
    Rep. Lally (D-Narragansett, North Kingstown South Kingstown)
    Rep. Lima (D-Cranston)
    Rep. Long (R-Jamestown, Middletown)
    Rep. Menard (D-Cumberland, Lincoln)
    Rep. Moffitt (R-Coventry)
    Rep. Pacheco (D-Burrillville, Glocester)
    Rep. Palumbo (D-Cranston)
    Rep. Rice (D-Portsmouth)
    Rep. San Bento (D-North Providence, Pawtucket)
    Rep. Savage (R-East Providence)
    Rep. Segal (D-Providence)
    Rep. Singleton (D-Cumberland)
    Rep. Smith (D-Providence)
    Rep. Sullivan (D-Coventry, West Greenwich)
    Rep. Ucci (D-Cranston, Johnston)
    Rep. Walsh (D-Charlestown, New Shoreham, South Kingstown, Wacerly)
    Rep. Wasylyk (D-North Providence, Providence)
    Rep. Williams (D-Providence)
    Rep. Winfield (D-Glocester, Smithfield)

    Comment by CharihoParent — June 29, 2008 @ 4:54 pm | Reply

  214. Ms. Walsh and Mr. Kennedy…what else do they have in common? Oh, yeah, they both voted to subvert the bond vote. Apparently whatever is best for union teachers is good enough for them. I don’t believe Mr. Kennedy has any children of his own. I don’t know about Ms. Walsh. Maybe that’s why they put the demands of adult school employees ahead of what would be best for children?

    Comment by Curious Resident — June 29, 2008 @ 5:41 pm | Reply

  215. I’m sure the NEA put together a letter writing campaign on the issue, and these were probably the only letters Rep. Kennedy received. So as far as he knew, there wasn’t any opposition or very little.

    Comment by RS — June 29, 2008 @ 7:58 pm | Reply

  216. If there was no opposition, he should have voted FOR the mayoral academies. He could not possibly have thought that the citizens in Hopkinton were against new ways of funding education for our and others students.

    Comment by BarbaraC — June 30, 2008 @ 6:31 am | Reply

  217. Hi!
    In #206 it should be less than half of Charlestown. I cannot predict the outcome of this election. Since youth I have always been interested in politics and history. History has shown that if the fiscal disparities in Chariho are not addressed it is virtually certain they will continue. When Hopkinton reaches the median household income of Richmond they will or may be likely be more likely to vote for Chariho building proposals.
    The Hopkinton Town Council race is interesting. Of the Seven Candidates: Incumbents Sylvia Thompson, Tom Buck, Barbara Capalbo, and Non Incumbents Bill Felkner, and myself OPPOSE the bonds. The only bond supporters are Incumbent Vice President Beverly Kenney and Non Incumbent George Abbott.
    It will be interesting how the Chariho bonds referenda impacts the elections in the three towns for local town councils. Add to the mix the refusal of the Charlestown Town Council NOT to meet with their Ad Hoc Committee which Dick Hosp, a Town Council candidate in Charlestown is on, that is reccommending withdrawal unanimously, until after the election seems to be politically reckless perhaps? But then what is surprising it is the committee supports the bonds but still wants withdrawal. That seems odd for sure.
    George Abbott 377-2279 and I 377-4643 have nomination papers to sign if you are so inclined.
    Have a nice 4TH of July!

    Comment by Scott BillHIrst — July 3, 2008 @ 5:13 pm | Reply

  218. Thanks for reminding us that Mr. Abbott supports the bond. He seems as unhappy with the way things are at Chariho as the rest of us, so it’s easy to forget he favors the bond re-vote.

    I’m loyal to the current council minus Ms. Kenney (because she is a Chariho lackey) and Mr. Cordone (who is not running). Who is the odd man/woman out?

    Mr. Felkner is a leader in advocating for parents making the decisions on education. Has any other candidates taken a position on vouchers or other forms of school choice?

    Comment by Curious Resident — July 3, 2008 @ 7:25 pm | Reply

  219. no just you cr, if bill stops short we know where your nose will be stuck. you can’t praise him enough. funny thing is he never seems to follow through with anything he just starts the fights, throws some stats out there and leaves you to pick up the mess…..funny how that is and also funny how you always seem to be the first one to post after one of his comments, coincedence? I highly doubt it.

    stats and numbers don’t always tell the truth just remeber that.

    Comment by sobs — July 18, 2008 @ 4:18 pm | Reply

  220. There is now a proposal before members of Congress to sponsor the Civil Rights Act for Equal Educational Opportunity. This would require the states to equitably fund the education of children in public and non-public schools, while respecting the liberty of schools in hiring and provision of services.

    We can change the tenor of this election campaign by calling upon our representatives in Washington, at 202-224-3121, and urging them to sponsor this legislation.

    Thank you for your worthy efforts.

    Comment by Israel — July 20, 2008 @ 5:26 pm | Reply

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