Chariho School Parents’ Forum

July 31, 2008

Gearing up for Campus 2010 (part deux)

Filed under: bond,Maintenance — Editor @ 3:42 pm

From the Chariho August email sent by Mr. Ricci:

Focus on Campus 2010

     This past spring, the Chariho School Committee, in a 10-1 vote, approved the submission of legislation authorizing a second vote on the Campus 2010 project.  As a result, votes will be held on November 4th, this time as three separate projects.
     Why?  Quite simply, the needs have not gone away and cannot be solved through the annual operating budget.   The District continues to spend nearly $300,000 per year on lease payments for temporary portable classrooms.  And, there is little disagreement that the High School infrastructure needs significant upgrades and that our high school students need additional learning space.  Related detail can be found in the comprehensive accrediting report from the New England Association of Schools and Colleges at
     Become informed!  Visit the Chariho web site at the Building Committee link for more information

I would disagree.  What is should read is, “the needs have not gone away and even though we spend over $14,000 per student (among the highest in the nation), we are unable to manage our finances well enough to keep our building from falling apart.  Yes, I remember the “non-emergency” roof that fell in the classroom.  And yes, enrollment is dropping, but we have so many non-essential services (with union employees) that we are running out of room.”

I would also ask, if spending $300,000 on leases is a bad deal, why did we do it in the first place?  Mr. Day, Mr. Polouski, and Mr. Ricci were all around then, ask them.  Oh yea, because it would take a vote to approve the creation of RYSE if they did that.  So, they were willing to saddle us with a lease payment because they didn’t want to ask for approval to create a new school.

Curiously, earlier in the email he also said this –

Keep your eye on the District website.  We’ll be updating the site with pictures from the many construction projects occurring all over the District.  I promise that our High School students will be quite impressed (and proud) when they return.



  1. Hi!
    Without debating the merits of accreditation or school bonds, I remember Bill Day and other school committee members considered not renewing membership in the accreditating association in recent years. This group is not government sanctioned but is a private group.

    Comment by Scott Bill Hirst — July 31, 2008 @ 6:00 pm | Reply

  2. FYI the 6th grade white team are also in the portable classroom. There is not enough room in the school for these students. Yes the RYSE students are in portables but they are not the only ones in portables classrooms. Some of our youngest students are in portables.

    Comment by chariho parent — July 31, 2008 @ 9:05 pm | Reply

  3. The last time we asked the Hope Valley principal he said the portables were used because they had air conditioning and the school didn’t. Where both places have air conditioning, the service offices should be moved to the temps (such as SP’s or OT’s – they perform their services in classrooms anyway)

    Comment by Bill Felkner — July 31, 2008 @ 10:15 pm | Reply

  4. They are all buildings…portable, permanent, brick, wood…buildings all. In some respects the so-called “portables” are better than the “stationaries”.

    It’s all a scam. The administration has neglected maintenance and instead spent the money on ever increasing amounts of employees…our problem isn’t room…it’s bodies. We have too many bodies, and each one of them consumes one hundred thousand or more in budget resources each year. Get rid of the bodies and the expense of the bodies and then we can see where things stand. Until we have equitable funding, responsible and transparent spending, and accountable administration, we are foolish to put more money into Chariho. Show us you can operate a school which provides superior education at a reasonable cost, and then we can talk about money.

    Comment by Curious Resident — July 31, 2008 @ 11:00 pm | Reply

  5. Modulars are great. I was a student in one when I was young. If maintained, they are quiet, private, air conditioned.

    When’s the lease up? Isn’t it 2009?

    I will still vote “no” on all 3 parts. I’ve made my case about where I think we should go. Expansion on the campus is not my choice. Not one person has convinced me otherwise.

    I’m sick and tired of the neglect on the elementary schools. Everyone’s answer to repairs and maintenance is neglect, neglect, neglect, then bond, bond, bond. Well, I say…NO, NO, NO!!!

    Comment by Lois Buck — July 31, 2008 @ 11:44 pm | Reply

  6. I’m with you Lois. NO.

    Comment by RS — July 31, 2008 @ 11:59 pm | Reply

  7. LB you have the right to say no to the bond. Saying no means your okay with the condition of the high school. Your okay with allowing 6th grade students at the middle school to be placed in portable classrooms which by the way look terrible and we should all be embarassed to have our children in them. Your okay with the conditions of the elementary schools. Your okay with the fact that our kids can not have home track events because our track in not up to standards. You people just don’t make any sense. Schools should have the best facilities available to our children. They should be something we are proad of and not an embarassment to its community. If your sick of the neglect then stop saying no and allow the school committee to get the repairs done. I am sick of the bandaid approach. Fix a little at a time is crazy. Lets get it done and do it right. CR your just a negative person. I hope you plan to run for school committee since you have such a high opinion of how things should be done.

    Comment by chariho parent — August 1, 2008 @ 8:07 am | Reply

  8. HOPKINTON PARENTS, The New England Association of Schools & Colleges, Inc. Commission on Public Secondary Schools has recognized the following problems in our High School. This is what LB, BF, and CR thinks is okay for our kids.

    The crowding in the corridors during passing time
    The small area allocated to the guidance department and the lack of sufficient conference space for guidance
    The lack of maintenance storage areas
    The lack of audio-visual storage areas
    The problems with the well water at the Career and Technical Center
    The uneven performance of the HVAC system
    The presence of leaky pipes in various locales in the facility
    The lack of privacy in the nurse’s area
    The outdated kitchen facilities in the Chariho cafeteria and in the Career and Technical Center
    The lack of sufficient availability of computer labs for whole class use or for individual student use in classrooms or in the library/media center
    The lack of adequate parking
    The lack of regularly funded program for building maintenance and upgrades
    The under-manning of maintenance and custodial staffs
    The lack of unified keying system t hat has the potential to impact safety and security
    The failure to provide sufficient audio-visual equipment
    The failure to fund the five-year plan for replacement of equipment
    The failure to provide a dependable source of revenue for maintaining the aging building, replacing maintenance equipment and providing maintenance staff to care for the physical plant
    Inadequate library space

    Comment by chariho parent — August 1, 2008 @ 8:32 am | Reply

  9. I personally don’t recall anyone saying the conditions are as good as they could be, but are they acceptable? Some of the conditions listed do not exist in some of our homes, so I think if the child is raised without some of these creature comforts, then they can be schooled without them. A few of the items are nothing more than they would be nice to have’s.

    I checked the website for this accreditation group, and they compare with all of New England. So if we use an accreditation criteria comparing our schools with NE, then we should also compare our test scores, salaries, etc with the same region. Many who post here keep saying we can’t compare with other regions unless they are like our regions. So the question is: Are we only going to use a comparison when it suits us.

    I think these 2 areas would eliminate almost all the other concerns:
    1. “The lack of regularly funded program for building maintenance and upgrades” – this doesn’t mean neglect the facilities at the expense of NEA bloated contracts, and then try to push through bonds.

    2. “The failure to provide a dependable source of revenue for maintaining the aging building, replacing maintenance equipment and providing maintenance staff to care for the physical plant.” — One time bonds are not a dependable source of revenue, unless you are a tax and spender.

    I would imagine if tranparency in the contracts was available, then we would not have anybody(except NEA lackies) seeing any deficiency in the contracts, but these same people see deficiencies everwhere else in the school system.

    The issues we raise are the lack of fiscal responsibility. If the efforts to base a budget on physical plant needs were as great as the effort put into padding contracts and protecting lackies, then I doubt we would be having this post.

    This is the age old classic problem when you spend someone else’s money, you have no respect for it and waste means nothing. Tax and spend liberals will never grasp this concept.

    Comment by RS — August 1, 2008 @ 11:01 am | Reply

  10. As you stated we should be “comparing our schools with NE, then we should also compare our test scores, salaries, etc with the same region. Isn’t it true that spending at Chariho is in line with other like school is NE, our SAT scores above national average, and salaries are in line with other like schools.

    Comment by chariho parent — August 1, 2008 @ 11:12 am | Reply

  11. Honestly, CP, I understand your position. You do have a right to it.

    Still, I disagree. I choose to take a hard line. Sometimes, you have to. I believe that these bonds are the wrong way to go.

    Don’t think for a minute that if we vote these bonds in, that our 5th and 6th grades will ever go back to the elementary setting. It will never happen. Well, I have to take a stand to be sure that these children are placed in a more academically beneficial environment.

    I will not allow the circumvention of the tax cap.

    I demand accountability within the existing budget. And I expect the school committee to work within the law to develop a reasonable budget, while remaining under the tax cap. If this means taking a hard line, then that is what I must do.

    I am sorry you do not agree with me. You seem like an intelligent person, even though others might not think you to be.

    I read your quote from the accreditation people. Based on that info, should we then build a new school?

    And let’s for example look at the elementary schools. Based on Kaestle Boos, they are seriously lacking. Should we abandon them and build new too?

    We do not need the Taj Mahal at Chariho. It is not the environment that educates, it is the teachers.

    I understand there are problems. And yes, they need to be fixed. But, as I’ve stated before, my understanding is that most are not serious.

    As far as the track, just rip it up and go back to dirt. Dirt worked fine for us. I know that is not what you wanted to hear, but the kids should expect a decent education, not a rubberized track.

    Their parents, those in Hopkinton and Richmond and some in Charlestown, are being taxed to death. With the economy, they are making some hard choices right now. And as long as we have this unbalanced taxing scheme, how can we force any more on their shoulders. Their burden is heavy.

    So, I am still against all 3 parts of the bond, even though I think everyone agrees that there are some things that need to be done at the high school. But, let’s take the list, do the absolute necessities first. Then let’s make do with the rest.

    I wish you the best, and have a nice day!

    Comment by Lois Buck — August 1, 2008 @ 11:29 am | Reply

  12. I did my own audit…not dumb enough to trust an accreditation agency that is paid to find fault with schools. Of particular emphasis is the fact that accreditation firms only look at what needs to be spent while not auditing or considering employees, contracts, budgeting practices, etc. The accreditation firm only provides a biased opinion based on what is needed and not what is wasted or not needed.

    Corridors as wide as ever. No shrinkage. Enrollment down. Lockers on one side removed.

    Guidance Dept. too large. Counselors provded way to early in process.

    Maintenance storage area same size as it has been for 50 years. Technology means smaller equipment, not larger.

    Well water is a maintenance issue. Operating funds appropriate.

    HVAC is a maintenance issue. Operating funds appropriate.

    Leaky pipes are a maintenance issue. Operating funds appropriate.

    Privacy in nurses area is a few curtain away from solving.

    Outdated kitchen area may be appropriate with equitable taxation.

    Hundreds of computers have been purchased at Chariho. Maintain what you have. Reasonable to budget for computers every year. Once employee to student ratio is reasonable, plenty of money will be available for annual expenses such as computers.

    Parking problems are solved when employee levels are reduced to reasonable.

    Building maintenance and updates will be adequately funded when Chariho budgets appropriately and eliminates excess employees.

    All employees and students should be responsible for keeping their work/school area clean. Janitorial staff should only be responsible for intensive cleaning.

    There’s a few more items, but the only thing CharihoParent lists which wouldn’t be solved with a responsible and reasonable operating budget is the kitchen area. The biggest problem is too many employees. The second biggest problem is to much compensation for employees. Throw in tax equity and I’m sure Hopkinton would support updating the kitchen once Chariho takes care of excessive employees, outrageous contracts, and inequitable taxation.

    Comment by Curious Resident — August 1, 2008 @ 11:36 am | Reply

  13. I see you are talking contracts. Case in point to consider is the current crisis with the state’s labor unions. The unions and the people they represent have to realize that there is some alarming things going on right now. They will have to make concessions. They are currently unwilling. So, I back the governor for taking a hard line with them if he has to.

    Tiverton has taken that step. There are more than half of the communities in RI that are facing school contracts in the next year or so that will likely have to make hard choices as well.

    Private sector people all over are getting cuts in their wages, or worse, losing their jobs. These people cannot sustain these government and municipal contracts with the economy and budget crisis going on. It is truly sad that our state is in a crisis, but we can’t just ignore it.

    The cap is there for a reason. The legislature actually did something right.

    Again, have a nice day!

    Comment by Lois Buck — August 1, 2008 @ 11:39 am | Reply

  14. CR, your points are well taken.

    Comment by Lois Buck — August 1, 2008 @ 11:42 am | Reply

  15. I ask you all again, isn’t it true that spending at Chariho is in line with other like school is NE, our SAT scores above national average, and salaries are in line with other like schools? CR you don’t trust anyone that does not agree with you. Do you really think so highly of yourself that you have all the answers and the everyone is out to screw Hopkington voters. What degree do you have that says you know more than the New England Association of Schools & Colleges. I have read you all your commments and your mistrust of everyone leads me to believe you need help. LB yes I would agree with you, Elementary schools need repairs also, so your approach is to fix nothing even though you agree it needs repair because you don’t agree with the priority of repairs. How does that make any sense. Let our kids run on dirt. What was okay for you is no longer acceptable so please don’t compare your education experienccee to todays education. Laws and policies are different. To me telling our young to run on dirt is saying we don’t value your athletic goals. That is a complete slap in the face to our young. Parents want more for their kids and they deserve to get more.

    Comment by chariho parent — August 1, 2008 @ 12:54 pm | Reply

  16. Parents and every other American deserve no more than what they can provide through their own efforts. Everything else is charity and they should express gratitude when other people give up their earnings to subsidize the education of other people’s children. To claim parents, or anyone else, deserves something they did not personally work for and earn is the height of arrogance. As a parent, I thank the community for whatever support they can give my family as we try to educate our child.

    Again, the accreditation firm only comments on what they feel is needed. These firms do not comment on spending and budgeting practices. The audit is incomplete without both sides of the equation.

    First and foremost, the proposed spending is unnecessary in light of the excess employees and outrageous contracts. Get the employee to student ratio in control and negotiate private sector type contracts, and we’ll have plenty of money left to maintain and renovate.

    You probably could get away with the proposed waste if you deliver tax equity. Hopkinton voters would likely be so thrilled to get tax relief, they’d support additional spending regardless of how unnecessary.

    None of this takes into consideration the desire to move 5th and 6th graders back into the Elementary School environment.

    Comment by Curious Resident — August 1, 2008 @ 1:54 pm | Reply

  17. CP, you asked the question about comparative data, can’t you find it yourself? Oh I forgot, Chariho is very non-transparent, so it might be difficult to get the numbers.

    Comment by RS — August 1, 2008 @ 2:06 pm | Reply

  18. I can find comparative data… you just have to do your homework.

    Comment by chariho parent — August 1, 2008 @ 2:24 pm | Reply

  19. CP, I never said that we would not have the money. What CR says in post 16 is exactly what I was thinking. That’s where the money comes from.

    You can’t get blood from a stone. Something has to give. Many residents are taxed to death. They are struggling. You know, what lessons do we teach our kids if we keep sucking the life out of the people who can’t afford it? What about food on people’s tables, or oil in the oil tank, or gas for their car, or the mortgage that is likely weighing heavy on their minds? What about clothes, never mind the ridiculous taxes they have to pay or they lose their homes?

    People everywhere are making sacrifices. This is an important life’s lesson to teach our kids. It involves choices. Sometimes we have to make difficult choices. That is when we do what is necessary. It’s high time Chariho did the same. This is not something I want, it’s something that the struggling families need.

    I don’t mean to be condescending, but if it came to a track or to the needs of the families to have an extra week of heat for the winter, the choice is clear.

    If the track is so important, perhaps there is a generous contributor(s) who would like to donate towards it. Perhaps, the kids could have a car wash or something outside of the school to raise money. Perhaps, some of the money the PTO raises could benefit the track. I’m sure there are other resources, too.

    Comment by Lois Buck — August 1, 2008 @ 7:19 pm | Reply

  20. I recently heard a commentator speaking about the recent spike in foreclosures. He rightly noted that the tipping point for financially struggling families is property taxes. Do we vote for a rubberized track for Chariho while families are being evicted from their homes? Do we demand new buildings when families are choosing between a nutritious meal or gas for the car?

    If CharihoParent and others like him want to see infrastructure improvement the solution is right in front of them. Instead of attacking Hopkinton for our reluctance to continue funding the blackhole of Chariho, why don’t they turn their effort to eliminating unnecessary employees and outrageous contracts?

    I doubt the care. They want the bond because it pumps more money into Chariho and the no amount is ever enough for the Chariho apologists. Educational failure? Who cares. Send more money. Irresponsible spending? Who cares. Send more money.

    Hopkinton stands alone and stands proud. I wonder if the state of the economy will wake up Richmond in time for the next bond vote? Or will the government employees still dominate the voting?

    Comment by Curious Resident — August 1, 2008 @ 9:03 pm | Reply

  21. CR you never back up what you say. If Chariho spending is comparable with other schools in Rhode Island, explain to me why Chariho is spending irresponsibly? Explain what you mean by poor performance? What were the 2007 SAT scores for our kids, do you even know? I am sorry that families are stuggling out their but I am not going to sacrifice the kids of this community and their educationsal experience because they and their town have planned poorly.

    Comment by chariho parent — August 1, 2008 @ 9:10 pm | Reply

  22. Does CharihoParent think children exist independent of families? If you financially devastate families then you devastate children. Chariho apologists who want to pour more money into the Chariho cesspool are sacrificing children…they destroy children in their homes.

    Let’s see…20% proficiency in math…dismal performance in my book. SATs only measure college bound students, and SATs have been simplified in recent years, so there is not comparison to past generations.

    I prefer to compare Chariho spending to community spending. If other communities want to hire unnecessary employees and pay them foolish amounts, they can do so, but Hopkinton is wise to hold Chariho to community standards.

    Comment by Curious Resident — August 1, 2008 @ 9:37 pm | Reply

  23. Since nobody was offering, I took the 30 sec it required to find RI is not doing the job some think.

    Comment by RS — August 1, 2008 @ 9:38 pm | Reply

  24. 20007 Charihos Scores – READING 500.82 MATH 513.74 WRITING 497.13 Totaal = 1511.70
    2007 National Average –reading: 502 Mathematics: 515 Writing: 494 = 1511

    Comment by chariho parent — August 1, 2008 @ 9:57 pm | Reply

  25. Whats the source, your imagination…..

    At least post the reference so we can assess the information.

    Comment by RS — August 1, 2008 @ 10:33 pm | Reply

  26. Chariho parent is NOT CharihoParent. Writing is not part of the average in SAT’s – Average is reading and math = 1013 — an SAT total is 1600 for a perfect score and brilliant students. Chariho’s average is 1059.

    And NO Chariho spending is NOT in line with other schools in New England; out average SAT’s are LOWER than NE scores – Mass alone is #1 or #2 in the country we are in the bottom 10% of all state scores; and our salaries are NOT in line with others – they are HIGHER salaries for LOWER (on average) SAT scores. Look at post #10 and #15. CharihoParent has better diction and paragraph formation – not to mention that they (whom ever they are) do not seem to have an anger management issue.

    All the information from NE Assoc. of Schools and Colleges concerns the physical plant NOT the teaching or the teachers. They can be brilliant and the NEASC feels Chariho is lacking because of building concerns NOT teaching concerns. The physical plant cannot ever be equivalent to dedicated teachers and involved parents.

    Comment by BCapalbo — August 1, 2008 @ 10:36 pm | Reply

  27. RS the source is the website that you posted. Read the article, look at the “extra” charts they post along with the article.

    Comment by chariho parent — August 1, 2008 @ 10:42 pm | Reply

  28. No I am not charihoparent. I am Chariho Parent. Here is another website that you all may find helpful. Check out the information regarding Per-Pupil Expenditures by District Excluding Other Commitments.

    Also, BC the first page of the report the Commission also cited the school’s strengths relating to Student Learning and Leadership and Organization.

    Comment by chariho parent — August 1, 2008 @ 10:55 pm | Reply

  29. Writing is an optional part of the SATs now Mrs. Capalbo. Of course writing is very subjective so I don’t have much faith in it.

    Personally I prefer global comparisons. Unfortunately the educational establishment in this country have lobbied strongly against uniform testing, and this impedes efforts to make direct comparisons. I point to the importation of engineers and scientists as a measurement of how poorly we compare with other countries (many of them third world countries).

    Ultimately, if all of America is failing to properly educate children I won’t be happy with Chariho being equally inept. I’m also not one of those fools who equate money spent with results. Educational spending has far exceeded inflation, yet educational outcomes have not risen with spending.

    From what we can tell Chariho has an employee to student ratio that is absurdly high. While Mr. Ricci won’t share dependable employee numbers, we can ascertain the excessive employees based on budget numbers. As previously noted several times, in the most recent budget Teachers’ Assistants budgeted expense increased by a couple of hundred thousand in one year. Why so many?

    The bond contains one item which might legimately be consider bond-worthy…updating the kitchen…and even that could be done through a responsible operational budget that included regular upgrades.

    I admit that I do not have the pulse of Hopkinton. I hope voters continue to pay attention and the word on the street is to defeat every part of the re-voted bond.

    I ask every politician running to discuss the Chariho situation as they campaign. Urge your Hopkinton constituency to vote no. Tell them about Mr. Felkner’s website if they want to learn more.

    Comment by Curious Resident — August 1, 2008 @ 10:59 pm | Reply

  30. SAT’s are still the mean. And in RI we are still in the bottom 10% of the country no matter what changes or adaptations the SAT’s have gone through. They are still the only consistent measure we have through a number of decades. I would assume that students from Asia and from Europe have to take this test as well to enter our colleges and university’s. I would certainly trust this measure before one that RIDE determines is better throughout New England. Students have to compete nationally and internationally not just here.

    Comment by BCapalbo — August 1, 2008 @ 11:08 pm | Reply

  31. Pay special attention to Chariho ranking, pages 18 & 28 from the report.

    Comment by RS — August 1, 2008 @ 11:09 pm | Reply

  32. The sat’s are part of the equation, but not the tell all by any means considering only 171 Chairho students took the exam in 2007. So to only use these scores disenfranchises the remaining students from having their performance evaluated. As you can see from the report in my previous post, Chariho is not the envy of the educational system.

    Comment by RS — August 1, 2008 @ 11:11 pm | Reply

  33. Writing is optional and therefore not part of the average. CR is right that this portion can be very subjective.

    All of America is not failing to educate children – just some of us. And because we demand that all kids go to school, we have a higher percentage of students either unteachable or simply not interested. Everyone is lumped together.

    The top 10% of Chariho seniors have an average SAT score of 1222 which is enough to get most of them scholarships. This is good. It is also substantially above the school average and, for that matter, the state average. It is, however, not good enough to get them into Ivy League schools. And I believe most of those top 10% should be able to apply and get accepted to those top schools even if they don’t get a scholarhsip – but they would need higher SAT’s.

    Comment by BCapalbo — August 1, 2008 @ 11:21 pm | Reply


    This link shows SAT scores by state last year. Note that the article shows the huge difference in SAT participation, and points out that the more kids who take the test, by and large the lower the score.

    In the midwest very few kids take SATs except elite students who want to go to school on either coast; most midwest schools expect students to take the ACT.

    Now can we please stop talking about SAT scores as if they mean something? Anybody who wants a better SAT score can spend money and go to Kaplan or some other service and get 200 points better!

    Comment by david — August 2, 2008 @ 6:22 pm | Reply

  35. David thank you for the article. I found it to be very informative. The problem I have with many of these bloggers, especially CR, is the claim that Chariho is a poor performing overspending school. If that is true, show me the data that supports these statements. You can’t just say these things without the information to support it. CR loves to utilizes this point as a reason why Hopkinton should not approve any of the bonds. It is not a poor performing school and considering what the administration and teachers have to work with they are doing an outstanding job. I am not from this area, I have seem the facilities that other kids in other communities work in and Chariho High School is in no condition to have that many kids in its building. It was not designed to hold this many kids. Our buildings, our sports programs, our basic needs all need to be improved if we want our kids to come out of Chariho with a top notch education.

    Comment by chariho parent — August 2, 2008 @ 8:06 pm | Reply

  36. The problem with a tax and spender is no matter how much information or data you show them, they are still a tax and spender. Their world is one of fiscal irresponsibility and an attitude of “It is owed to me/us”.

    The age old problem, when the money is easy(gov’t spending/taxes), it garners little respect. Our current state of affairs with a negative savings rate in this country is a prime example.

    Fiscal waste will never be admitted to by some………especially those licking their chops at the trough.

    Want seconds? Hmmm.

    Comment by RS — August 2, 2008 @ 9:04 pm | Reply

  37. yep….capalbo has to chime in all the time….whether she knows what shes talking about or not.

    Comment by manny being manny — August 2, 2008


    Comment by RS — August 2, 2008 @ 9:05 pm | Reply

  38. RS = Real Stupid


    Comment by RS — August 2, 2008 @ 9:05 pm

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    Comment by whatchya gonna do when hulkamania runswild on you — August 2, 2008 @ 10:10 pm | Reply


    Comment by whatchya gonna do when hulkamania runswild on you — August 2, 2008 @ 10:11 pm | Reply

  40. As you note RS there is no data available which will convince a Chariho apologist we are not receiving enough value for the money we spend. Chariho’s administration hides budget and performance numbers specifically because they know what we know…Chariho costs to much and delivers too little. Does anyone believe the administration would be screeching from the rooftops if the budget was reasonable and the education was superior? Of course they would…but they don’t…the secrecy is all the evidence we need to know something is rotten in Denmark…and at Chariho.

    I agree with David that SAT scores are not a good gauge of performance.

    CharihoParent claims parents “deserve” other people’s money. This entitlement mentality is what we need to reject. Both at Chariho and with all government programs. Nobody “deserves” to take what other people earn. You want something, then go out and earn it yourself.

    Comment by Curious Resident — August 3, 2008 @ 2:47 am | Reply

  41. CR, I did not say that “chariho parent” said that. We are not the same person, I have no clue who “chariho parent” is. You know that I’m not in total agreement with the current administration and school committee. While I do support some aspects of the bond issue, which is my right as a taxpayer, because I would like to see the repairs and modifications in the high school be completed once and for all while before prices continue to climb ever higher and continue to be an ever increasing burden on all taxpayers. I fully realize that there are issues with RYSE which have yet to be answered to my satisfaction unless I get these answers I’m not sure I’ll be able to support that part of the bond. I’m also on the fence for the middle school portion of the bond, I haven’t made up mind whether to support this portion or not. I ask everyone to realize that there are two different CharihoParents on this blog and to please not confuse one with the other. I think it would be much easier though if “chariho parent” changed their name to “chariho parent #2” though.

    Comment by CharihoParent — August 3, 2008 @ 7:15 am | Reply

  42. CR parents of this community are not asking for handouts. They are the taxpayers! What are you talking about. They are willing to pay more for their children so they can have a high school that meets the standards. I hope you have that same outlook with you get your SS check everymonth. Geuss what I the one paying for that!

    Comment by chariho parent — August 3, 2008 @ 8:56 am | Reply

  43. Not a problem charihoparent I will change to #2.

    Comment by chariho parent #2 — August 3, 2008 @ 9:00 am | Reply

  44. Understood CharihoParent. Whichever Chariho parents think other people’s money is their’s because they “deserve” it, is antithetical to the American spirit. America have been great exactly because we’ve empowered individuals to reap the rewards of their own labor with minimal and controlled government confiscation.

    The arrogance of taking what somebody else earned and then spending it without transparency and without accountability is indefensible but precisely what we allow Chariho to do. Hopkinton has said “no more”. Chariho apologists say “give us more”.

    Comment by Curious Resident — August 3, 2008 @ 9:21 am | Reply

  45. How do you figure you are paying for someone’s SS? The elected officials tell me we get payments based on what we pay in. You mean this isn’t true? Why would you vote for politicians that lie to you? Go FDR, Go New Deal.
    Don’t worry the government will take care of you when you run out of money.

    So you think if we throw more money to Chariho it will all end up going to its intended cost? I don’t trust that for a minute…remember the socialist experiment I mentioned above. There are many schools with less budgets and tax burdens and they still have great facilities….more money is not Chariho’s problem. Fiscal irresponsibility, lack of tranparency, and corruption(NEA) are the main problems facing us.
    A new thread needs to be started for the tax and spenders, we could call it Eat at The Public Trough, or Gee We Need More Money and Less Accountability, or School Socialism 101, or …………

    Comment by RS — August 3, 2008 @ 10:14 am | Reply

  46. I am sure you are aware that the time will come, within a dozen or so years, when there won’t be enough revenue from payroll taxes to pay the benefits currently promised. So all the monies that I pay to SS today are paying for the current Seniors. Again, CR the parents of this community are paying the taxes. It is not a handout they are the ones they will be paying for the bond. Again, I ask you is Chariho’s spending in line with other Washington County Schools? Do your homework and you will find out that it is in line with other “like” schools. But I geuss you think they are all stealing our monies and all the teachers out there are living high of tax payers dolloars. A person with 6 years of education, large student loans, comes out into the job force and makes a $40,000 a year. Lets be real!

    Comment by chariho parent #2 — August 3, 2008 @ 11:04 am | Reply

  47. Few people with children in public schools pay taxes anywhere near what is spent on their children’s education. The problem isn’t that parents don’t carry the entire burden, the problem is that most public schools have the attitude of #2 and think they “deserve” our money and we should be grateful and keep our mouths shut.

    Teachers are receiving more than they are worth as determined by the free market. They bypass the free market process by loading School Committees with friends, relatives, and other educational sycophants.

    More importantly than the compensation given to teachers is the overall volume of school employees. This includes administrators, teachers, support personnel, and in recent years, social service employees. We would probably be more tolerant of the excessive contracts if we didn’t have 20 to 30% more employees than are needed.

    Social Security is the perfect example of why sending more money to Chariho is foolish policy. The government can’t be trusted to keep their promises or spend our money wisely. The less we give them, the better off for everyone.

    Comment by Curious Resident — August 3, 2008 @ 12:24 pm | Reply

  48. Looks like CP#2 wants us all to have full trust and faith in the Chariho administration and school committee. As long as we have the likes of Bill Day, Andy P. and a few others on the school committee, it will never happen. Since CP#2 suggests that it’s the parents who carry the school tax burden, I should be able to deduct well over $3,000 from my tax bill since my daughter has now graduated from Chariho.

    CP#2, look at where we rank for what we pay per student, it’s very much in excess of the national average in fact in 2005 we ranked 9th in the nation for teacher salaries. The unions, the school administration and the school committee will bleed us dry of our hard earned money. I don’t want to pay out anymore in taxes than what is necessary. If we had better results coming out of Chariho and other Washington County schools, it might be more palatabile but right now we’re not getting the results we should be getting.

    Click on the following link, you’ll see some very high avergage wages for different positions in this state. Then tell us that we get what we pay for, if you honestly believe that, you’re only kidding yourself.

    Comment by CharihoParent — August 3, 2008 @ 1:30 pm | Reply

  49. From the above website, which goes to show that we are not getting what we pay for as far as education costs go:

    At $44,535, Vermont was ranked 22nd in the nation for average teacher salaries in 2005. (my note, isn’t VT one of the state that RI compares itself against and didn’t they score better than RI did?)

    At $43,941, New Hampshire is ranked 25th for average teacher salaries.

    In the school year of 2004-2005, Maine ranked a sour 38th for average teacher salaries among the nation. However, Maine student achievement has remained among the nation’s top, according to NAEP scores. In fact, Maine students have attained similar results in reading proficiency and other categories since 1992.

    I found it rather ironic that whomever is sponsoring that particular website feels that Maine needs to increase it’s school funding and will praise the states that keep increasing teacher salaries (makes we wonder if it isn’t some teacher union behind this site). Why should Maine taxpayers increase their spending while achieving high results? Since I’ve spent a bit of time in Maine for my work, I also know that they are moving towards more and more consolidated school districts which is their version of regional school districts. I’m just not sure how it’s paid for whether it’s on a per student basis per community or through a regionalized tax structure.

    Comment by CharihoParent — August 3, 2008 @ 1:45 pm | Reply

  50. CP you cant compare salaries between states. As we all know the cost of living in Rhode Island is much higher than the midwest. Cost of living is very high in NE. So if you are going to make an intellegent comparision it would have to be within the state and neighbor states. FYI isn’t CT teachers the highest in the country.

    Comment by chariho parent #2 — August 3, 2008 @ 1:50 pm | Reply

  51. It is much cheaper to live in VT, Maine and NH.

    Comment by chariho parent #2 — August 3, 2008 @ 1:51 pm | Reply

  52. Yes, CT is the highest paid according to the website. That doesn’t mean we have to be as high as we are and failing to get the results that we should be expecting. Stop making excuses for the teacher unions robbing us and not producing. If I got paid and didn’t produce, I’d be out of job. Same thing should happen with the teachers.

    Comment by CharihoParent — August 3, 2008 @ 2:06 pm | Reply

  53. And by the way, it’s only slightly cheaper to live in ME, VT and NH. The one thing NH has going for it, is that there is no income taxes. No wonder my buddy decided to go live in NH while working for a RI company and work from home to boot! (yes, I’m jealous of him because he can work from home!)

    Comment by CharihoParent — August 3, 2008 @ 2:08 pm | Reply

  54. If you want to take on the unions then that is were your fight is, not with Charhio because they want better facilities for their students. You argument should not compare apples to oranges. If Charhio spending is in line with other like school within its state then really you can’t accuse them of spending out of control. If Chariho teachers salaries are in line with other like schools then they are not overspending. In all fairness, you have to look at all the demographics. CR argument that the parents of these communities are taking handouts is crazy. As long as I live in this community, I will pay 50 some years into this school system and my children will not really benefit from this bond. So don’t accuse me of taking handouts. I just beleive we are not giving our kids the best of the best and they are the ones we hurt.

    Comment by chariho parent #2 — August 3, 2008 @ 3:35 pm | Reply

  55. CP#2, it is not us, the taxpayers, who are not giving our kids the best of the best, the blame falls squarely on the school administration, the school committee and the unions. When we don’t get the results from the school in comparison to what we are taxed, we need to demand better results. I have one question to ask you, which one of the 3 communities do you reside in?

    Comment by CharihoParent — August 3, 2008 @ 3:59 pm | Reply

  56. CR said “Few people with children in public schools pay taxes anywhere near what is spent on their children’s education. The problem isn’t that parents don’t carry the entire burden, the problem is that most public schools have the attitude of #2 and think they “deserve” our money and we should be grateful and keep our mouths shut”.

    How crazy to make such a statement. Really, lets see, educate my child for 13 years, and I pay taxes for the next 50 years. What are they talking about? I will pay ten times over what it cost to educate my child. Listen, you can’t keep saying no to bonds and then point the finger at everyone else when things don’t get fixed. New buildings, a new library ect. can not come out of the operating budget. You can’t place 1200 kids in a building that is built for 500ish and then say whats the problem, why can’t you fix this on your operational budget. So what happens, they have to bandaid everything. A little fix at a time and hear we are in this great big mess because the projects are to big.

    Comment by chariho parent #2 — August 3, 2008 @ 6:12 pm | Reply

  57. CP#2,
    I did a bit of calculating, which you should have done before your post. If you live in Hopkinton or Richmond you will only pay a little bit more over 50 years of taxes, less than $10,000, than what the community paid to educate your child. If you live in Charlestown, you pay a lot less, almost $100,000 less, in taxes to Chariho over years then what was paid for your child. So you see, it’s not 10 times more, you’re just a tad off on that comment.

    Comment by CharihoParent — August 3, 2008 @ 6:30 pm | Reply

  58. Care to share those figures, love to know how you figured that out.

    Comment by chariho parent #2 — August 3, 2008 @ 6:35 pm | Reply

  59. I took the figure of $13,000 (probably a little on the low side over 13 yrs) to educate your child over 13 years so that comes out to $169,000.

    While I know that this isn’t the correct figure to use, I used a figure of $3,500 for Hopkinton, over 50 years which then would come out to $175,000 in taxes.

    For Richmond I used $3,400 which comes out to $170,000 over 50 yrs.

    For Charlestown I used $2,300 which comes out to $115,000 over 50 yrs.

    I realize that I used current figures. There is no way to predict what the future holds but we have to take into account that per student costs will rise and so will the takes. I firmly believe these figures for the future will still show that we wouldn’t pay 10 times the amount in taxes as what it costs to educate our child. Also, what about households that have more than 1 child that will go through the 13 years in Chariho. They will come no where close to paying more in taxes then what it costs to educate their children. In fact, they will probably have sent child 2 at a substantial discount and any others will be free, based on these figures.

    Comment by CharihoParent — August 3, 2008 @ 7:07 pm | Reply

  60. Do you guys have the NEA talking point flyer in front of you or is all this crap memorized?

    Comment by RS — August 3, 2008 @ 8:53 pm | Reply

  61. #2’s calculation disregards local government spending other than education. The total local taxes paid in a lifetime are not just for education.

    At $14,000 per year for 12 years, the cost per child is $168,000. A homeowner in Hopkinton with a $300,000 home pays about $4,500 in taxes. Being generous, the average age of home ownership is 30 or higher. So let’s say the average person pays significant taxes from 30 through 75. 45 times $4500 is $202,500. Clearly we can see any average person with children is depending on other people to cover their government expenses.

    As for salaries…teachers should be compared to the private sector, not other teachers. I don’t care how much teachers make in Westerly, never mind teachers in another state. I’m more concerned with what the community can afford to pay and still remain reasonable to the average family. Because of the tax disparities, Hopkinton and/or Richmond should be the baseline communities for establishing manageable employee compensation.

    As always, even more important than compensation per employee is the number of unnecessary employees. Chariho’s student to employee ratio is hard to nail down with precision (Mr. Ricci chooses to cloud the numbers), but we’re told it is around 11 to 1. This is a ridiculous amount of employees and could easily be reduced.

    Finally, the best solution is probably a voucher system where teachers truly compete in the open market. With vouchers the best salaries would go to the best teachers. The most money would go to the highest performing schools. CharihoParent’s observations about Maine are interesting because at least some parts of Maine allow parent school choice, and these regions have some of the best academic outcomes in New England. More proof that free markets work…I can’t believe any sane American needs to be convinced free markets result in superior products.

    Comment by Curious Resident — August 3, 2008 @ 9:08 pm | Reply

  62. CP also does not take into consideration the amount of state tax that taxpayers pay that is used to fund education programs

    Comment by chariho parent #2 — August 3, 2008 @ 9:28 pm | Reply

  63. One mistake I did notice, I used the wrong figure for Charlestown.

    Charlestown should have been $1,400 in taxes for 50 yrs for a total of $70,000.

    The figure I used in the previous post for Charlestown, would be the equalized rate for all communities.

    CR, I was figuring strictly the cost of education in taxes since #2 was talking about the cost to educate his/her child. Local taxes only blur what you’ll pay to educate a child vs what you end up paying back for education in your own taxes. Also, I used 13 yrs because Chariho goes from K to 12 so that’s 13 yrs not 12 yrs.

    #2, I did take into consideration the state aid to education. I used figures taken from the Richmond RI News Weblog that are AFTER state aid, not before. While those are from 2005 I feel that it gives a starting point to look at your statements. Once again, your statement that you “will pay ten times over what it cost to educate my child” does not hold water. The more you reduce your taxes with aid to education, the more you fall below your very own statement. Also, do you really think State Aid to Education is going to increase significantly?

    RS, I don’t know what you meant by your comment but you seem to want to imply that I some how support the NEA or I’m some how involved with them. If you’ll pay attention, you’ll notice that I’m no supporter of the NEA or any union.

    Comment by CharihoParent — August 4, 2008 @ 5:03 am | Reply

  64. You and I pay income tax to our state which is then used to fund educational programs. So you need to take into consideration the amount of state tax, in addition to local property tax, that I pay that goes toward education in our community as well as other communities.

    Comment by chariho parent #2 — August 4, 2008 @ 8:16 am | Reply

  65. You’ve claimed over and over about not supporting or being associated with the NEA CP, but whether or not this it true, you are exactly the kind of voter/taxpayer they love to influence. You think more money thrown at Chariho is the solution and no matter how much information is put forth, your view never changes.

    There is nothing wrong(for you) believing in what you think is right, I just don’t understand why you try to deny that your views are aligned with the principles of the NEA lackies. Just admit that you think the NEA has the right answers for you, and the government knows best how to spend yours and others money…this is how you have portrayed your views, wether you like it or not.

    NEA is the WAY, NEA is the WAY…..a little chant for you.

    Comment by RS — August 4, 2008 @ 10:40 am | Reply

  66. RS, that’s a blatant false statement! I’ve never said that throwing more money at Chariho is the solution. Just because it doesn’t agree with your small town/small minded thinking doesn’t mean it’s wrong. Until you can get your facts straight about me, please, please, please, leave your comments to yourself. You can’t debate diddly squat and prefer to come here and knock people down who don’t agree with you. Give it a rest and get a life with SBH. let’s get this straight, I can’t stand the NEA and what it stands for, I’ve repeatedly have said that over and over again. I can’t stand unions PERIOID! I’m totally against unions, they’ve outlive their purpose. When unions can control how a company, a state, a town, a school district operates, I have no use for them.

    Comment by CharihoParent — August 4, 2008 @ 11:14 am | Reply

  67. CP#2, even if you take the figures before state aid, it won’t change the end result by a whole heck of a lot. No matter how you slice it, you takes paid do not come out to 10 times the amount the community has paid for your child to attend Chariho. Admit that statement was totally ludicrous and be done with it.

    Comment by CharihoParent — August 4, 2008 @ 11:19 am | Reply

  68. First, you are assuming that I own a average house and you assuming I only own one property, your assuming that I didn’t purchase my first home in my 20s and you have no idea how much my income is given to state tax. Regardless, the point that CR was saying that we should be grateful for what we get because it is a handout for our children to be educated is simly not the case.

    Comment by chariho parent #2 — August 4, 2008 @ 1:49 pm | Reply

  69. #2 spoke of parents “deserving” more taxes to be spend at Chariho. #2’s tax-paying status is virtually irrelevant since he/she presumed to speak for all parents, not just themselves. My statement that most parents, my family included, depend on the charity of the community to educate our children. The argument is stale and false, but since we’ve started down this road, even if a person ultimately pays taxes equalling the cost of educating their child(ren), #2’s calculations disregard the fact that the community pays for the education well before most parents have spent their live paying taxes. This being the case, parents would also be on the hook for the interest which would normally accrue when you borrow money.

    Like I said, the argument is silly as the vast majority of parents get a lot more than they give. Again, my family thanks the community for subsidizing our parental responsibility for seeing to the needs of our child.

    Comment by Curious Resident — August 4, 2008 @ 2:25 pm | Reply

  70. CR, on that one, you’re quite correct and I agree with you 100%.

    Comment by CharihoParent — August 4, 2008 @ 3:07 pm | Reply

  71. Everytime I mention any poster having an association with the NEA lackies, CP gets very irrate…..wonder why? Someone who is associated probably would not come and post with open honesty about their closeness to the trough and expect their view to be overwhelmingly accepted by the overburdened taxpayer.
    As far as my small town/minded thinking, I guess I get that from the Big Apple, you know New York City…where I happen to be employed. Yep I’m just a pea brain looking up at the underside of the trough feeders wondering why they have no ________.
    You outed me.
    By the way I am a proud union member, and contribute both financially and physically of myself to better the cause of our workers. Our cause is not and has never been to control any company, only to get the best deal possible for our members. With the present econiomic conditions, these are not the best of times to be receiving gains in our contracts….I personally have given back for the past 5 years so my company can hopefully survive through these tough times and prosper for the future.
    Looking at the pathetic state of affairs in RI with the unions I can understand why you feel this way, I just don’t know why you are for giving them more money. Because the school administration neglected to adequately fund for school repairs, I am being asked by you to throw more money at a less than honest, fiscally irresponsible system. Not today, sorry.
    My small brain is able to throw you another chant.


    Comment by RS — August 4, 2008 @ 6:49 pm | Reply

  72. And you can be sure the bond is all about the money spend on employees rather than maintaining and updating infrastructure. If we didn’t have the exorbitantly excessive amount of employees with contracts far beyond the private sector, then we could have been spending the same amount of money on both a reasonable number of employees AND on infrastructure.

    If a bond passes Chariho will continue to play the same games. The School Committee will continue to capitulate to the unions and the administration will continue to add unnecessary employees.

    The only way to change course at Chariho is to stop them dead in their tracks. I don’t buy into the argument that children need brand new facilities to learn. I’ve toured numerous private schools operating on a shoe string budget…class sizes far above public schools…and they still offer an education which puts Chariho to shame.

    Make no mistake about it…the bond is Chariho’s attempt to continue the employee gravy train. As long as they can escape responsible budgeting for infrastructure, the status quo won’t change. Failure will not go away until we kick them in the behind again.

    Comment by Curious Resident — August 4, 2008 @ 9:14 pm | Reply

  73. An article from the Wall Street Journal highlighting where NEA spends its vast resources:

    Around $2,300,000 stopping vouchers in Utah.

    I previously read the national NEA meeting emphasized support for homosexual marriage. Important stuff for teaching the children, huh?

    Comment by Curious Resident — August 4, 2008 @ 11:52 pm | Reply

  74. Once again RS shows us what RS really stands for.

    Comment by CharihoParent — August 5, 2008 @ 4:50 am | Reply

  75. CR, interesting article. The last line of the article really says it all:

    It’s a shame the NEA doesn’t spend as much money and effort trying to improve lousy schools as it does trying to keep taxes high.

    Comment by CharihoParent — August 5, 2008 @ 4:51 am | Reply

  76. I’ve told you time and again RS is my initials….not hiding behind any suedo names for me, nothing to hide, proud of who I am, what I do, and very proud and thankful to God for my family. That is why my number one priority is to protect their interest, i.e. less government interference in our daily lives, and less tax burden for government run programs that are failures.

    It is not a shame the NEA doesn’t look out for your taxes, it isn’t their concern or job. Their job is to look out for their members…a job they have done quite well, but only because they are not held to any standard of tranparency or fiscal responsibility. The NEA doesn’t even care about the quality of the education their members provide…I know, I know, they would vehemently deny this, but the truth is not always an easy pill to swallow. Of course they have a propaganda machine that is well funded and well trained, so well in fact most parents are in complete agreement with their stated principles. Especially those who lack union experience and knowledge of how unions work.
    The school committee is the ones who should be looking out for the taxpayer, and holding the educational system responsible. Obviuosly those we elected have failed us greatly. Blaming the NEA for that is blaming the wrong entity.

    Comment by RS — August 5, 2008 @ 10:49 am | Reply

  77. Union lackey!

    Comment by CharihoParent — August 5, 2008 @ 11:58 am | Reply

  78. Tough talk for a keyboard mental midget. The more I read your ideas, the more I understand why birth control was invented….so your type can’t reproduce!

    Comment by RS — August 5, 2008 @ 1:01 pm | Reply

  79. RS, you’re a joke. Can’t debate only call down people. And you say that I’m the keyboard mental midget? The joke is on you.

    Comment by CharihoParent — August 5, 2008 @ 5:18 pm | Reply

  80. I’m with you RS. The fault does not lie with the union, but with the voters who fall for the union propaganda…and the School Committee who advance the unions agenda while pretending to be “for the children”. Besides, capitulating to the unions is not the only employee problem at Chariho. We also have far too many administrators and for what they delivers, administrators are grossly overcompensated.

    I do think it is important to criticize and expose union tactics and union strategies. How else is the average person supposed to overcome their naivete and begin to understand the objectives of the union if they are not informed as to its nature? Union propaganda defeated parental choice in Utah…whatever we can do to get the truth out to the public can only help.

    Comment by Curious Resident — August 5, 2008 @ 6:09 pm | Reply

  81. Hey CharihoParent, reread post 74 and 77, and then talk about calling down(whatever that means)…..there is a serious title for what you are….Control Freak. In psychology-related slang, control freak is a derogatory term for a person who attempts to dictate how everything around them is done.In some cases, the control freak sees their constant intervention as beneficial or even necessary; they may simply enjoy the feeling of power it gives them so much that they automatically try to gain control of everything around them.

    This seems to describe you quite well, don’t question you unless you want to be verbally attacked. I remember when you did the same thing to curious resident, and was told to tone it down by the moderator. Blogs are not therapy, you need to quit using them as such and seek professional help. The psychiatric kind.


    Comment by RS — August 5, 2008 @ 6:49 pm | Reply

  82. RS, I find it rather ironic that you say I am the control freak. Look at your very own postings, if someone doesn’t agree with the first thing do is go after them rather than debate the ups and downs of the issues. All you do is verbaly attack people, you don’t open your mind to another person’s point of view. Your method is attack, attack, attack, that’s about all you’re good for. I’ve yet to see you discuss much of anything. Small minded doesn’t even fit you, it’s like a micro-mind.

    Now back to the discussion? That’s a laugh, you can’t do that.

    Comment by CharihoParent — August 5, 2008 @ 8:15 pm | Reply

  83. Anyone see the letters to the editor of todays(Aug 5th) edition of the Provieence Journal? There is a letter about the mayoral academy by a Cumberland resident.
    It appears those of us in south county are not the only ones fed up with the dismal state of affairs in our schools.

    Comment by RS — August 5, 2008 @ 8:30 pm | Reply

  84. I did catch the letter. Nice to see the other end of the state is fighting for to change things too.

    The educational establishment detests the Mayoral Academy because it has the ability to operate independently of the union while using public funds. God forbid the union not run a public school in Rhode Island.

    Comment by Curious Resident — August 5, 2008 @ 9:23 pm | Reply

  85. Hi!
    You may have seen The Providence Journal today regarding the Chariho Ad Hoc Committee on Education wants a workshop with the Charlestown Town Council. At this point it appears it may not happen. Acting Town Council President in Charlestown, James Mageau opposes the meeting at least so far. The committee could set up it’s own public forum but that would seem to defeat the purpose of dialogue with a town council and one of its appointed committees.
    The committee headed by Giancarlo Cichetti has put a lot of time obviously in the education studies options. They support the building bonds but consider a number of possible options for Charlestown. Of course, one dilemma for Charlestown is having the bonds approved and then having it more difficult to withdraw because they still would have their share of the building bonds to pay off.
    I assume The Westerly Sun will cover this tonight and tomorrow. Charlestown has an agenda setting meeting tonight. I assume it will be in The Providence Journal again tomorrow.

    Comment by Scott Bill HIrst — August 6, 2008 @ 10:42 am | Reply

  86. CR,
    You’ve said in your post #80 that “the fault doesn’t lie with union” but yet your post #84 that the unions run the public schools. I’m trying to understand your position here. A lot of the public does fall for union tactics but we elect our representatives on the school committee and it’s up to the school committee to properly represent us. Unfortunatly, too many elected officials are in bed with unions and prefer to go along with the unions and do not represent us properly. If the unions are running the public schools (which is my point about unions) how can it not be their fault for many of the problems in regards to the eduation of our children? I also agree, there’s way too many in the administration at all levels of the school district. I’ll say this once again, no one on the school committee or from the administration should be doing the actual negotiations with the unions, they don’t have the skill for it.

    Comment by CharihoParent — August 6, 2008 @ 5:14 pm | Reply

  87. The union run the schools in the sense that the School Committees and administrations capitulate to their demands. Union ideology also dominates teachers’ colleges so younger teachers bring politics into the classrooms at the expense of academics.

    I do not give School Committees and administrations a pass for their inability to negotiate. If we want a superintendent who has the experience to negotiate, then we should hire that person. Most administrators come from the union ranks and too many seem to be able to disaffiliate their union loyalties. Look at Mr. Polouski if you want to see how the union mentality remains long after membership expires.

    Comment by Curious Resident — August 6, 2008 @ 7:20 pm | Reply

  88. I’m well aware of Mr. Polouski and his inablitity to disaffiliate from his union loyalties. What I’m still puzzled about though is in on post you don’t want to blame the unions but then in another you do. Just trying to reconcile that thought from you.

    Comment by CharihoParent — August 6, 2008 @ 8:50 pm | Reply

  89. Hiring a lawyer who is a skilled union negotiator for your council or school committee is money well spent. It is very difficult to manage on your own. Most of us are not hard ball negotiators, nor do we know when to push and when to give in the pattern of negotiation. I think CP and CR and RS understand this. RS is very correct that unions specifically negotiate for their members not for the public or public children. We all know this is the same problem stated different ways.

    Maybe we should be encouraging the sub-committee to demand an outside negotiator hired by the school committee not by the administration. Not having administrative contracts staggered is incredibly stupid. Who came up with this travesty? And who approved it? Sometimes it is literally mind-boggling.

    Comment by BCapalbo — August 6, 2008 @ 9:53 pm | Reply

  90. CP, I think CR is simply saying that the union can only “run the schools” to the extent that the school committee, as the union’s adversary in collective bargaining, approves agreements that perpetuate that state of affairs.

    I completely agree with this; my real question is how to effect change. Can this be done piecemeal, making slow progress contract by contract? What would a better teacher contract look like (management rights, incentives for quality teaching rather than mere seniority, getting teachers to work for schoolwide success)?

    Comment by david — August 6, 2008 @ 10:06 pm | Reply

  91. Really good points david. I don’t know how this is accomplished. Perhaps with any contracts with the mayoral academy to begin or with charter school contracts. But a hired gun who can begin the breakdown process would be a good start on the NEA contracts. The school committee is just not competent (I am not being disrespectful, they simply do not have the training) to accomplish any of these goals and the administration is not motivated toward change either.

    Comment by BCapalbo — August 7, 2008 @ 7:32 am | Reply

  92. Exactly David…the unions want to be in charge but the School Committees and administrations decide whether they get to be in charge vis a vis cotnracts.

    I’m not sure who negotiates for taxpayers, but with all the employees Chariho has on the payroll, you’d think one of them would know how to negotiate a reasonable contract. Since it appears we’ve never had a reasonable contract…I must be wrong.

    Comment by Curious Resident — August 7, 2008 @ 8:23 am | Reply

  93. I would think the school administration would not be the point body for negotiating on behalf of the towns. If they are indeed the ones who negotiate the contracts for Chariho, then that is akin to asking the fox to babysit the hens.
    Are you guys saying Chariho officials negotiate the contracts for all Chariho workers? How would someone who works for the school system, came up through the school system, and benefits from the school system be allowed to negotiate on behalf of the ones paying the bills?
    I was under the assumption the school committee was the negotiating body representing the towns. Maybe I have been naive about who is wagging the tail.

    Comment by RS — August 7, 2008 @ 10:42 am | Reply

  94. The school committe is the negotiating body representing the towns. The administration is party to this when they are not discussing the administrative contracts. I would assume the school solicitor is part of the proceedings but I wouldn’t know for sure. Qualifications to negotiate and representation within negotiation is not the same thing by any stretch of the imagination.

    Tom Buck, who is very familiar with union contracts from both sides of the table is present when the town negotiates – he is exceptionally qualified. Our solicitor adn town manager is always present as well. And in one instance we had a professional lawyer/negotiator for one set of contracts. Anyone who believes they can do union negotiation without extensive knowledge and training is fooling themselves and undermining the company they represent.

    Comment by BCapalbo — August 7, 2008 @ 2:07 pm | Reply

  95. Wouldn’t it be fair to say that administrators’ contracts are informally linked with teachers’ contracts? The more teachers are compensated the more we end up compensating administrators since they usually (or maybe always?) come from the teacher pool?

    If the top scale teachers make $80,000…then certainly principals could argue they need to be higher than teachers…right? I bet this is a common neogitation tactic for administrators. At least it seems logical. If this is true and administrators informally benefit from higher wages and benefits for teachers, then I don’t think it is appropriate for any admiinistrator to be involved in teacher contracts.

    Comment by Curious Resident — August 7, 2008 @ 4:05 pm | Reply

  96. CR, I don’t think you would get any argument from anyone on this blog.

    Comment by BCapalbo — August 7, 2008 @ 10:12 pm | Reply

  97. Hi!
    Those who take the time to serve in public office need to be recognized for that. However people are busier now than in the past, and the Chariho School Committee is the least desirable political office to seek really, regardless of what you think of individuals currently serving.
    It’s been a few elections, at least a couple, write-ins will determine the victors. This will be true this year again in Charlestown no candidate for the single slot open, and only one candidate Bill Day, for the two slots open in Richmond. Richard Vecchio is unopposed for the single opening in Hopkinton.

    Comment by Scott Bill Hirst — August 14, 2008 @ 4:53 pm | Reply

  98. Why would anyone want to run for the Chariho School Committee? Just look at the constant attacks, constant assumptions that are made about people on this blog.

    Comment by CharihoParent — August 14, 2008 @ 6:24 pm | Reply

  99. The reason nobody wants to run for the feel good, do nothing, stranglehold, puppet show, school committee is beyond me.
    List 3 meaningful things they have accomplished this year.

    Thought so.

    Comment by RS — August 14, 2008 @ 10:14 pm | Reply

  100. You need to look no further than Mr. Felkner to see how pointless it is to be on the School Committee. You can only bang your head into the wall so many times.

    At least the Hopkinton representatives have the mandate of the community to change business as usual at Chariho. The Richmond and Charlestown representatives can ignore the waste, secretiveness, and bloated budgets because their voters support business as usual at Chariho.

    Even if I had the time I wouldn’t run for School Committee. I think Mr. Felkner has it right and leadership has to come from town official encouraging voters to reject all budgets and bonds at Chariho until the other towns either get out or join Hopkinton in demanding better results at a lower cost. Chariho is used as an employment vehicle for far too many. Education is a secondary mission at best.

    Comment by Curious Resident — August 14, 2008 @ 11:01 pm | Reply

  101. I don’t even feel Chariho is being used as an employment vehicle. Employment where I was raised means to give an honest days work for an honest days pay.
    Chariho has become the stereotypical government feeding trough. If it wasn’t, then we would be getting what we pay for, not the abysmal train wreck the administration calls an educational system.

    I have yet to hear anyone associated with Chariho stand up and defend their record, or even show pride in what they accomplish.

    Comment by RS — August 15, 2008 @ 10:08 am | Reply

  102. I have skimmed through the comments on this blog. Everyone has excuses for too much spending. My question is this: How much do you factually know about the spending and what do you know about where your money is being spent? Look at this logically: you can’t have a school system without a superintendent, there goes the biggest chunk, (right out of your very own pockets!); somewhere I have read there is now an ASSISTANT superintendent!! (For what?), there goes the second biggest chunk; and of course there is Brian Stanley who is supposed to be, (in theory), the ‘Chief Financial Officer’ of the district, another hugh chunk comes out of your pockets. Let’s not forget the legal staff Chariho employs. A lot of good they have done. These must be the ‘wanna be but couldn’t be’ attorneys. We all have an idea of how much they thik they are worth, and therefore, are paid, out of your pockets! We have not even gotten to the Principals and we can’t forget the RYSE Principal! Then you have the head of curriculum (?) and those DEANS OF STUDENTS? and the psychologist in the regular high school! We haven’t touched the staff salaries yet!
    Get the state to audit the district. Don’t settle for a CPA sent in from a firm, a friend of someone in the district. Get the state to put their nose in everything and find out what is going on!! Ask yourself this: When they lay off (recently I think it was 16? teachers, in addition to those that retire) where does that money go? We are talking an average of $40,000 to $60,000 per person, at least! Do you see an increase on the Income Statement for the district? Where is this money going? Why can’t a member of the administration answer or reveal financial information to you, the taxpayer! That is your money they are hiding. You have every right to know where the cash is going…and don’t settle for the answer, “It is in a mutual fund account”, that is the same as saying “we have buried it and you will never find it”. Why wouldn’t the state be interested in the financial position of the district, before they even began to consider granting the district a bond. The next time you go to the store and you have to think twice before buying something to feed your family, think about where your money has gone, and who is spending it to feed their family steak?

    Comment by tinkerbell — September 2, 2008 @ 8:28 pm | Reply

  103. I admit it, my family eats steak…..the tubular kind(hot dogs)…..does that count.

    Comment by RS — September 3, 2008 @ 12:12 pm | Reply

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