Chariho School Parents’ Forum

August 18, 2008

“26 teaching positions have been eliminated”

Filed under: Corruption,Unions — Editor @ 10:46 pm

I saw a comment from Bob Petit saying “26 teaching positions have been eliminated”  

I’m not picking him out for saying this at all – I first heard Supt Ricci say it so we should assume that Bob heard it at the same time.  We should ask Ricci if that means that total employees were reduced by 26. 

Someone with more historical knowledge can correct me but I think Ricci became Supt in 2005.  According to NCES, Chariho had 566.2 Full Time Equivilents (FTE) in the 05-06 school year. 

The 06-07 payroll has 556 full time employees and 40 part time employees.  Technically, we have people classified as full time with as little as 28 hours (thats 2 good days for some of us) – but most full time positions re 35 hours. 

The 40 PT employees average 19.5 hrs.  So, even using a “liberal” interpretation of what constitutes an FTE, we can assume there are an additional 20 FTE’s in the part times (39 hrs).  That gives us a total of 576 FTE in the 06-07 school year.  An increase of 10 employees from the previous year (the first year of Ricci’s term).

It is a year later and I do miss quite a few meetings so its possible I haven’t noticed, but for the “26 teaching positions have been eliminated” to be true, we would have had to eliminate them all this year – plus the 10 we picked up last year.

Like I said in the beginning.  I’m not pointing this out to pick on Bob.  We were given this information, unfortunately, most (all?) board members don’t take the time to verify.  But even if they did, we would be told the data is wrong (remember the In$ight issue?).



  1. I attempted to ask some questions about this very topic, and was answered with another question.

    I was told. “Does it matter …….”

    I guess to some it does, and to some it doesn’t, but as a taxpayer I think I deserve the information. Especially when it is being presented as a great feat which is saving me money and showing the effectiveness of the school committee which is an elected public body.
    I do not automatically assume the information from a school committee member is false or incorrect, but my motto is trust but verify. I think that constitutes accountability, which is something an elected body should display.

    Comment by RS — August 18, 2008 @ 11:06 pm | Reply

  2. I’ve asked similar questions about teachers’ assistants since the budget for these position rose substantially. Seemed to me we must have more support employees, not less. To date no one has explained the reason for the budget surge.

    Comment by Curious Resident — August 19, 2008 @ 5:23 pm | Reply

  3. Notice how this post seeking accountability has been up almost 24 hrs and no response from any of the FEEL GOOD BRIGADE? Put up something they can attack and they answer within the hour. Obviously this post hit a little close to home and the directors of the FEEL GOOD PUPPETS must have said lets not go down this road. A simple question that should be easy to answer, but yet no response.

    Sickening how anyone could back these fools who call themselves the School Committee. Bunch of NEA controlled invertebrates.

    Comment by RS — August 19, 2008 @ 7:50 pm | Reply

  4. I will answer you right now RS and CR If you want anymore answers go to the administration. I am done, right wrong or indifferent. If i give you an answer on this which I could give you; if you don’t like it, I would be called everything in the book or asked hundreds of different ways and told I never answer your questions. So I am done trying to answer your questions.

    I just wanted to answer this one so you can say I never answer your questions again. So have fun!

    Comment by Bob Petit — August 20, 2008 @ 4:18 pm | Reply

  5. Mr. Petit can’t be done answering questions because he never started. Doesn’t matter anyway…when an answer is not forthcoming then it is usually safe to assume they are hiding the answer.

    My mission is to do my best to make voters aware of the secretive nature of the administration of Chariho and to highlight the many failures which need to be fixed before we pour millions more into the institution. The lack of answers to reasonable questions helps emphasize the reasons why the people behind Chariho shouldn’t be trusted with our money and with educating our children.

    Comment by Curious Resident — August 20, 2008 @ 4:36 pm | Reply

  6. BOb,I hope I was clear that I didn’t suggest this comment came from you. And perhaps it is true and the numbers from NCES or our own payroll sheet doesn’t reflect it. I’m open – so if I am misunderstanding please let me know.

    But I will say that I look to printed data rather than info from Chariho. I quickly lost confidence in the administration’s ability to be open when Ricci wrote the letter in the Sun misrepresenting the research on 5th and 6th grade configs. I will (and have) publically made my point on that (the response letter in teh Sun) and his only response to date is that he was just reiterating Thornton’s comments. Which I don’t buy – Ricci is too smart to put his name on something without understanding it.

    So, yes, if you are told differently about the reduced staff please let us know. I”m just looking at the available data – doesn’t mean it is exhaustive.

    Also, we can wait until next month when I see the minutes but I would be curious to know how some of the votes came out last night. particularly, are we putting “Comm/Concerns” back in the agenda?

    Comment by Bill Felkner — August 20, 2008 @ 5:32 pm | Reply

  7. Guess BP took his toys and went home.

    The puppet masters must have spoken, and so here we have it silence on an issue that could have restored some faith in the school committee.


    Comment by RS — August 21, 2008 @ 4:22 am | Reply

  8. Bill I understood what you were saying and didn’t/ don’t have a problem with your comments, by the way Happy Anniversary.

    Comm/concerns- I asked for a more detailed explanation from our attorney on this. My feeling is and we have pretty much always done this,

    we should be able to mention letters and such in our packets, if discussion is needed or starts about it; the chairperson should stop the discussion and ask if we want it on the next agenda. Barbara was at the meeting and agreed and this is how Hopkinton handles it. There was some debate as to how this should be handled so I made the motion to get clarification on this. I think we should be able to do this, some think if we want to talk about it, we need to request it be on the next agenda. They are concerned about open meetings violation. In reality i guess it is a fine line, if you are to mention anyone they are to be notified before the agenda is completed incase they would like to comment on it.

    Night school was voted down, the SRO was voted in.

    All though I did vote to have the SRO officer there, I am still not pleased with it. I still think we can get away from police in the schools, but I also didn’t want to let the school year go by without having something in place. I think some good changes have been worked out and we will see how it turns out this year.

    voted down having community service as part of the portfolio. I don’t think this is our job, we need to worry about the education aspect. I don’t feel we need to put more pressure on these students, community service to me should be handled through the parents and they should decide where and when the students should do this, if at all.

    Not sure if there is anything else?

    Comment by Bob Petit — August 21, 2008 @ 8:51 am | Reply

  9. Why can’t there be a section on the agenda to handle communications on the School Committee agenda and list the persons who have sent a letter to the school committee? Richmond’s Town Council regular agendas always has the communication section. Go to Richmond’s web site and look at the agendas, you can miss it.

    Comment by CharihoParent — August 21, 2008 @ 6:30 pm | Reply

  10. Chariho Parent this is another way of handling it and was mentioned. We figure doing that would cost us more money to advertise the meetings. Estimate of $100 a month/ $1200 a year to do it that way. We just want to see why we can’t do it like before and not cost us anything. Most letters and such can be mentioned under recognition. If someone donates something this can be mentioned under this section. Some of the other things are just FYI’s anyway. We have been able to do this in the past without any problems,”BUT” just becasue it has been done a certain way in the past doesn’t mean it is has been done right. We are just trying to make sure we are doing things correctly.

    Comment by Bob Petit — August 22, 2008 @ 8:51 am | Reply

  11. Mr. Petit, if certain communication items are more than just donations and FYI’s, then I would think you would want to put them under a heading such as Communications so that they may be discussed openly at that time. Also, if not vote is needed or to be taken, then I would think that would be perfectly fine. That’s where you get into trouble with the OMA, taking a vote or discussing an item without it being on the agenda. If it’s listed, it’s out in the open.

    Comment by CharihoParent — August 22, 2008 @ 9:55 am | Reply

  12. Yes Chariho parent you are correct. There ae ways to do it we just want to do it correctly and if we can, do it without having any cost. I agree with you in thinking if there is no vote or discussion on the matter then we should be albe to mention it without any reprecussion.

    Comment by Bob Petit — August 22, 2008 @ 10:52 am | Reply

  13. I can appreciate the effort to save money, but this seems to eliminate a link to the community. Besides, saving $1200 over a year? We paid the Westerly Sun $945.07 just in June. And thats in the middle of the summer. Image what our yearly expense is. Maybe there are other places to cut that don’t limit citizen participation.

    The June check register for Chariho is here

    Comment by Bill Felkner — August 22, 2008 @ 11:19 am | Reply

  14. Mr. Petit, $1200 over the course of the year is not much more than a rounding error on the balance sheet when you have a 50 million budget. Don’t get me wrong, Mr. Petit, I agree with a lot of your positions and I do like the way you at least try to work with the other members of the school committee. On this one, though, $1200 isn’t a whole heck of lot to worry about.

    Comment by CharihoParent — August 22, 2008 @ 11:50 am | Reply

  15. Mr. Felkner, looks to me like those are Open Payables not a Check Register. The $945.07 is split over two months with the majority of the amount being in May not June. But the point is there, a good sum is spent with the Westerly Sun although it doesn’t tell me to which G/L account it’s all charged to so I’m not sure if it’s advertising or other items.

    Comment by CharihoParent — August 22, 2008 @ 12:00 pm | Reply

  16. Expenses can be paid in one month but fund can be allocated from even different years. May showed about $600 to the SUn.

    Comment by Bill Felkner — August 22, 2008 @ 12:46 pm | Reply

  17. Bill and Chariho parent you are both correct. I do think it is for advertisment, mostly of the agendas. Donna did give the figures the other night on what is spent. I don’t remeber what it is exactly. But even if it is only $1200 dollars, shich is small in this size budget, I thnk everything we can save we should. If we don’t ahve to pay for extra words in the agenda advertisment then lets not do it. If we do, no harm in finding out first. We pay a flat fee to our solicitors so why not use them if we are undecided as a committee.

    We all agreed that somehow this information needs to be open so that the public can hear it or have access to it. It was just more of a question of not paying more to post the agenda if we can just mention it without making a production out of it.

    If we have to spend the money in order for the public to be informed then that is what we have to do and I am all for it. I think you are both right and seem to be in line with how the committee felt.

    Comment by Bob Petit — August 22, 2008 @ 1:05 pm | Reply

  18. Bob, here’s the rub that I have. There were/are plenty of places to save money, much more money, and that seems to not worry the committee but yet they are gonig to worry about a lousy $1200? Something is very wrong with that picture. When I say the school committee, it’s said as a group and not at any one individual.

    Comment by CharihoParent — August 22, 2008 @ 1:57 pm | Reply

  19. Chariho Parent I understand what you are saying. I will say this, $1200 might seem like a little bit, but a little bit here and a little bit there is how we ended up at $50 million. I am not big on the stipends either and that is what I hear from people. Well,it is only a little bit, (heard it in our last meeting about stipends). I would have to go back to my notes but in the last budget I think it was something like $70 thousand in stipends being paid. I agree with what you are saying, please don’t get me wrong, but I feel we need to look at every possible angle before we just approve any spending even if it is only around $1200 a year. And your point about plenty of places to save money, well, I agree there too.

    Comment by Bob Petit — August 22, 2008 @ 2:16 pm | Reply

  20. How about spending as much time looking at why we have so many employees…each earning well in excess of $1200? Chariho has ridiculous employee to student ratios…but scant attention is paid…no subcomittees tasked with analyzing this and considering why school districts around the country and around the world do more with less.

    Nope…but when it comes to keeping the public informed…well then, we better tread carefully. The last time we voted on the bond they spent thousands feeding bad information to the public. How much they spent didn’t seem to bother Mr. Petit and his clones one little bit. As usual the logic is missing and the School Committee is a walking, talking, joke.

    Comment by Curious Resident — August 22, 2008 @ 4:16 pm | Reply

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