Chariho School Parents’ Forum

March 11, 2009

Chariho Times reports on hearing

Filed under: Budget,Nov 18 meeting (where I was removed from office) — Editor @ 9:44 pm

Its wait and see on Felkner court case


Cuts to school budget would be prudent



  1. I give the Times credit. They actually reported on the court case without interjecting their own biased language. Quite well written.

    Also nice to see the Times take a negative view of the budget proposal, although they too fell for the budget games by reporting the budget was reduced from last year which implies Chariho is spending less. Even with declining enrollment, Chariho’s budget increases spending. Spending is what really matters.

    Comment by Curious Resident — March 11, 2009 @ 10:09 pm | Reply

  2. Hi!
    Need to read it. A photo I submitted on the Town Sergeants of Chariho are in it.
    With the situation in Richmond and their officials wanting a delay on the vote, Charlestown’s reservations at least with two of their officials, Frank, and Carney, editorial support opposing the budget from The Chariho Times, and the normal Hopkinton rejection of the budget, the economic situation in general, I will go out on a limb and predict rejection of the budget. If it passes it will be closer than usual.

    Comment by Scott Bill Hirst — March 12, 2009 @ 4:57 pm | Reply

  3. My prediction is that even if Hopkinton and Charlestown voters reject the budget, Richmond will have more than enough to overcome. With all the media focus on the budget rather than the spending, it may be approved by a majority in all three towns. Although old media may be dying, local newspapers, and especially The Rag, still have the most influence on the ostriches.

    Comment by Curious Resident — March 12, 2009 @ 5:54 pm | Reply

  4. The ProJo today has a list of towns with school deficts … why’s Chariho not in the same hole?

    Comment by Gene Daniell — March 13, 2009 @ 8:59 am | Reply

  5. Chariho is not in the same hole because they have been overestimating spending and collecting excess cash for a number of years. I’ve been told by real estate agents that Hopkinton’s tax burden is the highest in the area. I was told this in context of the difficulties of selling a home in Hopkinton. Other communities likely have tried to keep taxes down and thus ran deficits. Chariho has always been able to get whatever they demand. Ergo, no deficits but very high taxes.

    Comment by Curious Resident — March 13, 2009 @ 9:07 am | Reply

  6. For area towns (40 total)::

    Charlestown, 3rd, $7.16
    Westerly, 7th, $8.87
    Exeter, 15th, $12.33
    Richmond, 26th, $14.31
    Hopkinton, 28th, $14.50
    West Greenwich, 36th, $17.63

    Hopkinton and Richmond are similar, tough to compete with the water front property benefits that help Charlestown and Westerly, but Exeter isn’t remarkably better and WG is higher.

    Chariho does run a surplus, relatively the same amount, $2M, year over year. So at least we have paid for what we have spent. The Transparency Train data is not available, so I don’t know how school spending per pupil compares. Police and Fire costs must weigh heavily on the cities budgets.

    Comment by Gene Daniell — March 13, 2009 @ 9:35 am | Reply

  7. I wonder how we compare to neighboring Connecticut towns like Voluntown, Stonington, Ledyard, Preston, Sterling, etc.? Maybe with so many state mandates all communities are overwhelmed with required expenses. It’s probably worse in the urban areas where the special education mandates and ESL requirments are sure to be more onerous.

    Comment by Curious Resident — March 13, 2009 @ 10:04 am | Reply

  8. Hi!
    It needs to be remembered surplus is only what’s left over, not discretionary spending that is engaged in! I want an outside management study to get a better handle on spending.

    Comment by Scott Bill Hirst — March 13, 2009 @ 10:38 am | Reply

  9. What happens in some other towns (W.Warwick is a timely example) is that the school departments (allegedly) ignore their published budgets and spend what they want, with the town forced to to make up the difference at the end of the year. In that comparison, Chariho is more constrained in that they are an independent entity financially once funding for the year is set.

    Comment by david — March 13, 2009 @ 11:58 am | Reply

  10. Chariho is constrained by limited access to additional funds once a budget is approved. This is inherent to the funding mechanisms of a regional school, but unfortunately, they don’t feel any constraints to spend less as evidenced by the recent budget proposal where at least two towns asked them to spend less than they proposed, yet the budget goes forward anyway.

    If the towns had any power over Chariho, budgets would likely be lower and Chariho would likely be running deficits in defiance. Since Chariho is able to get all they want, and more, up front, they have no need to deficit spend.

    Comment by Curious Resident — March 13, 2009 @ 12:05 pm | Reply

  11. Hi!
    What concerned me about the Felkner issue at the Supreme Court the other day on the budget issue that should have been emphasized is the Town Councils have NO real control over the Chariho budget. The West Warwick Town Council and other single municipal school districts can control the bottom line of their school budget IF THEY HAVE A WILL TO!

    Comment by Scott Bill Hirst — March 13, 2009 @ 3:30 pm | Reply

  12. Yes, the WW town council can exercise some control over the BUDGET of their school departments (sinc they have an approval vote), but my understanding s that the school districts run independent of the town, so that they can run overbudget without the town being able to do much about it, and I’ve read that this is not uncommon in some RI towns.

    As CR points out, budget is not the same as spending. Not everybody adheres to their budget.

    Comment by david — March 14, 2009 @ 3:36 pm | Reply

  13. RTC voted to NOT support the Chariho budget due to lack of state budget info.

    Comment by Gene Daniell — March 17, 2009 @ 9:50 pm | Reply

  14. Well I’d much prefer they not support the budget because spending continues its upward trajectory while educational outcomes remain in the toilet, but I guess we should take what we can get.

    Any thoughts on whether Richmond Town Council’s decision not to support the budget might translate into Richmond voters rejecting a Chariho spending proposal?

    Comment by Curious Resident — March 17, 2009 @ 10:30 pm | Reply

  15. Has anyone else heard that the State Supreme Court came down with there ruling on this case? I’ve been told that they have but haven’t seen anything in the news about it.

    Comment by richmondrinews — April 7, 2009 @ 12:19 pm | Reply

  16. Here you go:

    Comment by RS — April 7, 2009 @ 2:30 pm | Reply

  17. Thanks, RS.. I finally saw that earlier this afternoon.

    Comment by richmondrinews — April 7, 2009 @ 3:42 pm | Reply

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