Chariho School Parents’ Forum

November 10, 2008

A battle you shouldn’t miss

Filed under: 1 — Editor @ 10:11 pm

We saw this boil up about a week ago, and the battle continues…

East Providence school board takes hard line in contract talks

Does Chariho need to wait until it is bankrupt like EP before we take the “hard line”?

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19 Comments »

  1. From the above article:

    Said Santos, “We’re moving in the right direction. It’s supposed to be about the school kids and the buildings are falling in around them. It’s tough to learn when you are in a lousy environment.”

    Comment by CharihoParent — November 10, 2008 @ 10:57 pm | Reply

  2. From the above article:

    Said Santos, “We’re moving in the right direction. It’s supposed to be about the school kids and the buildings are falling in around them. It’s tough to learn when you are in a lousy environment.”

    Comment by CharihoParent — November 10, 2008 @ 10:59 pm | Reply

  3. TRAINWRECK(7)…..RESTRAINT(0)

    Comment by RS — November 10, 2008 @ 11:28 pm | Reply

  4. “The NEA has experienced hard-ballers who go around from city and town stepping on the retired librarians and school moms who join the School Committee to help and have little experience with contract negotiations,” Carcieri said. “They’re shaking down municipalities and taking them for more than they are worth.

    Exactly what thugs and gangsters do…..sounds sort of corrupt.

    “Carcieri said that’s because the union is getting more than 70 percent of the department’s money…”
    ….guess there isn’t much left over for things so important as physical plant maintenance.

    Comment by RS — November 10, 2008 @ 11:38 pm | Reply

  5. Where can we get a superintendent like EP has in Mr. Cirillo? Ironically, Mr. Cirillo was given a vote of no confidence from the teachers in Foster-Gloucester. Mr. Ricci lives in Foster and has his nose up the butts of his former colleauges. Maybe Foster-Gloucester would take him off our hands?

    70% of EP’s school budget goes towards employees…how does Chariho compare? Do I recall something around 80%?

    Comment by Curious Resident — November 11, 2008 @ 12:52 am | Reply

  6. Maybe BF should have tried “shaking down” and “stepping” on the school administration and committee members, he probably would have made more progress than being “antagonistic”. The individual teachers are the ones to be held accountable for these actions, the “union” is not some entity that tell the members how to conduct business. The members are the union. If business is not being conducted according to their wishes, they are the ones who dictate the what, where and when of the union, the teachers are the power. I wonder if such effort was put into teaching if the proficiency level of the students would be any better??

    Comment by RS — November 11, 2008 @ 10:13 am | Reply

  7. Good thing we locked into the 56%/60% reimbursement rate for the bond. The state continues to struggle due to its history of irresponsible spending. I’m sure the legislation authorizing millions in reimbursement monies for Chariho will fly right through. Mr. Kennedy and the School Committee would never lie to us…would they? Oh, that’s right, they lie all the time…guess we’ll have to wait and see.

    This from ProJo, “State leaders learned yesterday that Rhode Island is facing a gaping budget hole of $372 million for the current year, its largest mid-year deficit in nearly 20 years.”

    Comment by Curious Resident — November 11, 2008 @ 12:01 pm | Reply

  8. I don’t believe that the project will go forward if the 56% reimbursement rate is not in place.

    Comment by george abbott — November 11, 2008 @ 12:12 pm | Reply

  9. I hope you’re right Mr. Abbott…time will tell. Theoretically, can the bonds go forward if we get less than the “guaranteed” reimbursement rate?

    Comment by Curious Resident — November 11, 2008 @ 12:44 pm | Reply

  10. It’s my guess that the bonds wont be issued if the project is cancelled due to a change in the reimbursement rate.

    Comment by george abbott — November 11, 2008 @ 1:07 pm | Reply

  11. It is my understanding the bonds are valid without the reimbursement. The board of regents and the district committee could choose not to issue the bonds, but I do not believe the lack of reimbursement automatically makes them null/void.
    The text of the bond has no mention of reimbursement because it is elsewhere in RIGL….so I see no reason the bond could not stand as a seperate bill.

    http://www.rilin.state.ri.us/BillText08/HouseText08/H8227aaa.pdf

    Comment by RS — November 11, 2008 @ 1:30 pm | Reply

  12. After doing a quick read of the RIGL, I could only find information about the elegibility for reimbursement. I was trying to find laws pertaining to tying the bond to the state aid, and I didn’t see anything specifying the requirement of the bond issuance being based on any reimbursement at all. The statute does spell out what is elegible and not elegible for the reimbursement, so I was led to believe the committee has every right to issue a bond wether or not the usage of the bond funds meets the criteria for state aid. I just don’t understand the substitution ‘A’ for the bond bill, why was this particular bond written without the reimbursement language in it??? I know we have hashed this issue before, but I am still baffled as to why. If the reasons given to us from the legistlature is valid, why did the original bond we voted down contain this language then, and why haven’t we been able to find any other school bonds without the clause?? I dunno.

    http://www.rilin.state.ri.us/Statutes/TITLE16/16-7/INDEX.HTM

    Comment by RS — November 11, 2008 @ 2:18 pm | Reply

  13. OK, after having read the Bill a few more times, I believe the following sentence will prevent the bond from being issued without state aid.

    “Issuance of bonds and notes would be conditioned on the School District’s receipt of a letter from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education confirming that the Board of Regents for Elementary and Secondary Education has approved the facilities to be financed for state school housing aid.”

    Comment by RS — November 11, 2008 @ 9:59 pm | Reply

  14. Right, so did we receive the letter and does the aid have to be the 56%/60% amount which Chariho touted? Or does any amount of aid validate the bond? I guess it can’t hurt to wait and see. When the state is supposedly scratching and clawing to reduce the deficit, throwing millions to Chariho doesn’t seem like a sure thing.

    Comment by Curious Resident — November 11, 2008 @ 11:19 pm | Reply

  15. I believe the state aid formula is in Title 16 of RIGL, I remember glossing over something about the aid formula while reading.

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

  16. Deals with school housing aid.

    http://www.rilin.state.ri.us/Statutes/TITLE16/16-7/16-7-41.HTM

    This chapter references several other chapters, here is title 16 index link:

    http://www.rilin.state.ri.us/Statutes/TITLE16/16-7/INDEX.HTM

    Comment by RS — November 12, 2008 @ 12:07 am | Reply

  17. I did the reimbursement calculation last year based on the state formula (copied below). My question is whether the state is obligated to use the current funding formula for the bonds and if they can retroactively change the formula, does that nullify the bond or can Chariho simply put the burden on us?

    Here’s the formula caluclations:

    Some of the raw data could be a year or two off (enrollment numbers). I don’t believe it would make more than a few tenths difference in the final percentage (Richmond and Hopkinton only). I used the same formula for other Rhode Island town schools where the numbers were known and my results were the same as the actual reimbursement percents they receive. Charlestown’s number is rock solid as they qualify for the minimum and aren’t even close to getting above 30%.

    Hopkinton would qualify for 35.9/39.9% reimbursement.

    Richmond would qualify for 30.7/34.7% reimbursement.

    Charlestown would qualify for 30/34% reimbursement.

    Here’s the formula followed by the real numbers. I also provide links to the raw data I used.

    equalized weighted assessed property valuations / town student enrollment = per pupil town wealth

    per pupil town wealth / per pupil state wealth = comparative per pupil town wealth

    “The resulting relative per pupil community wealth is then multiplied by 62.0 percent, the mean state reimbursement, and subtracted from 1.0, yielding the district’s share ratio. This represents the approximate average district share of school support as mandated in Rhode Island General Laws, Section 16-7-39. The result is subtracted from 100 percent to yield the share ratio.”

    Equalized weighted assessed property valuations: http://www.muni-info.state.ri.us/documents/finances/property%20value%20info/2005_EWAV.pdf

    Town student enrollment: http://cspf.awardspace.com/enrollent.htm

    The state funding formula calculation can be found here on Page 87: http://www.rilin.state.ri.us/HouseFinance/2007educationaid.pdf

    Per Pupil Wealth for RI – 98,128,364,354/149,362 = 656,983

    Hopkinton
    911,878,002/1343=678,986
    678,986/656,983=1.03349
    1.03349 X 0.62 = 0.641
    1.0 – 0.641 = 35.9%

    Charlestown
    2,328,788,440/1058=2,201,123
    2,201,123/656,983 = 3.35035
    3.34035 X 0.62 = 2.0772
    1.0 – 2.072 = -107.2% (negative percentage)

    Richmond
    987,277,520/1345=734,035
    734,035/656,983=1.11728
    1.11728 X 0.62 = 0.693
    1.0 – 0.693 = 30.7%

    Keep in mind that 30% is the minimum reimbursement. As a regional school, Chariho qualifies for a a 26% bonus on top of the 30% minimum. This is why we get 56%. There is a 4% bonus for renovations…this is the 60% number which has been used for part of the bonds.

    If Charlestown unilaterally withdrew and Richmond and Hopkinton remained a regional school, we would qualify for around 59% and 63%. Charlestown holds us back on regional reimbursement, but because of minimums, not as much as their wealth might lead us to believe. Of course, we keep hearing how the state is going to readjust its funding formula…this could have greater impact on Chariho considering Charlestown’s status as a much wealthier town than Richmond or Charlestown. If new funding formula considered actual wealth by district rather than town, Charlestown’s wealth would wipe out pretty much all our reimbursement.

    The state measures community wealth per pupil based on an “equalized weighted assessed valuation” for each town. On a per pupil basis, Charlestown is the 5th wealthiest town in Rhode Island only after New Shoreham (Block Island), Little Compton, Jamestown, and Narragansett.

    As has been discussed here, Charlestown’s affluence and large tax base explains why they can be so indifferent about wasteful and inaccountable spending at Chariho.

    Comment by Curious Resident — November 12, 2008 @ 12:32 am | Reply

  18. Perhaps the language is so vague for a reason. Who will know how much Chariho actually does receive? One person? A School Committee with their hands out? A superintendent, that for some reason was not superintendent in his own district, perhaps? I heard something about he was not in good standing with Coventry. I believe at one time Bill Gates contributed a lot to the Coventry Schools. I wonder if it ever got past the administration? Questions to think over. Why does no one realize where the highest percentage of the money goes? Start at the top. They have nothing to do in the interest of the students. Freeze Ricci’s salary, increase his health insurance, don’t just talk about it. Find out how it can be done and if you hit a brick wall, (as I am sure Ricci has in place) bulldoze through it. There is corruption somewhere; Ricci is just a henchman. “Texas”

    Comment by "TEXAS" — November 12, 2008 @ 8:17 am | Reply

  19. I do not feel the statutes are vague, actually RIGL’s are written in fairly plain English. There is definetly room for interpretation though and sometimes it takes the courts to determine this. Also there are laws just plainly ignored, I can think of 2 off the top of my head.

    As for you other concerns, openness and transparency would alleviate almost all of them. I did not see anyone willing to change the course of business in Chariho, or the state during the last elections. The ones who collect the greatest PAC money are still in office and wielding the power to control our lives and wallets.

    Comment by RS — November 12, 2008 @ 11:04 am | Reply


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