Chariho School Parents’ Forum

April 14, 2009

Tonight’s school committee budget workshop

Filed under: 1 — Editor @ 6:54 pm

Georgia Ure will be at her first school committee meeting tonight. I deeply regret that I can’t make it – am still working hard on last minute prep for the RI Tax Day Tea Party (particularly, I’m still doing the research for the Ambassador’s speech).

But I would urge anyone who can make it to please attend.



  1. I read in The Rag the Chariho School Committee is claiming they made over $250,000 in cuts. Disappointingly they apparently now have the support of Mrs. Carney, Mr. Vecchio, and Mr. Abbott (assuming they were there to vote). The Rag reports only Mrs. Ure dissented.

    Reading through the cuts is actually quite humorous. Aside from a clerk position going from full time to part time and saving nearly $50,000 (how much does a clerk make anyway…$75,000?), they really didn’t make any cuts. They merely admitted to their budget games. For instance, they are claiming that transportation costs will be cut $87,000, but this was going to happen regardless, they just didn’t tell us in the first budget. They also are now telling us they are saving money because two senior teachers are retiring to be replaced by lower paid new teachers. Again, this was happening anyway and they simply didn’t admit it in the original budget proposal.

    These are the kind of games Chariho plays with budgets. Assuming they were at the Budget Workshop, how they got Mr. Vecchio, Mr. Abbott, and Mrs. Carney to go along with this scam is puzzling to me. The budget has been minimally cut and the rest of the so-called cuts are simply a slightly more honest budget. I guess I could pretend my family budget will continue to include a car payment even though we paid it off last year. Then I can brag how I cut the budget when I remove the car payment. No, the truth is the School Committee and administration lied to us originally. I wonder how many more budget items are a lie?

    The saddest part is this budget game-playing will work. With everyone nodding along except Mrs. Ure, it is sure to pass. I don’t know why we even bother to fight this crap. They always win in the end. I guess it’s because we really are the ones thinking about the children.

    Comment by Curious Resident — April 15, 2009 @ 9:02 pm | Reply

  2. It is very aggravating, but turning away in disgust and giving up is one of their strategies. They want us to throw up our hands and go away. Stay the course.

    Comment by RS — April 15, 2009 @ 10:00 pm | Reply

  3. Thanks for reminding me RS. I am buoyed by what I am hearing about the grassroots response to the Tea Parties across the country. At least we are not alone in our disgust.

    Comment by Curious Resident — April 16, 2009 @ 12:58 am | Reply

  4. And, if they did not agree to the budget cuts, what would happen next? Would we be faced with last years budget? Seems like everyone is sick and tired of having their hands tied, seeing tiny cuts to the budget when other districts are closing schools, cutting teachers, and cutting programs. BRAVO to Ms. Ure, but don’t think Carney, Vecchio, and Abbott are down and out YET!

    Comment by Dorothy — April 20, 2009 @ 12:55 pm | Reply

  5. Thank you, Mr. Silks!

    Letters to the Editor
    Logic lacking in Chariho administrator raises
    Reporter Victoria Goff should be congratulated for her April 22 Sun front-page story about raises for Char¬iho administrators. It’s a wonder that she was able to keep track of all the stuff that goes into making sure our school administrators get enough money for food and shelter and perhaps a little more.
    Or, more precisely, to be sure that administrators get a salary “comprised of the salary of a top tier teacher [$70,892 in 08/09] plus stipends given to de¬partment heads and teach¬ers with advanced degrees.” That sum is then multi¬plied by an “index” con¬nected to the regional av¬erage salary of comparable positions, according to Su¬perintendent Ricci. And, if you’ve been at Chariho a while, there’s another $500 for five years or $1,200 for ten.
    The point to all this was explained at a previous school committee meeting. When the question was raised, the answer, as I un¬derstood it, was that they wanted to ensure that the administrators’ salaries were not exceeded by teach¬ers’ salaries. With all due respect, it is not obvious to me, and perhaps others, that administrators are worth more than teachers. There’s plenty more; there’s an intriguing unan¬swered question about the actual amount of money involved. That’s because the administrators’ salaries are tied to the salary of teachers in the top pay tier, and what that will be for 2009-10 won’t be known until settled by the current negotiations between the teachers’ union and the school committee.
    Which may lead one to think that this is a strange way to set a budget. It’s been agreed that the raise will be 2.8 percent of some number, according to the headline, but nobody knows what that number is. Or if they do, they aren’t talking. And to those skeptics who question the accuracy of stories from Chariho, I would point out that they contain within them the ir¬refutable evidence of truth. Nobody, not even the most skilled fiction writer, could make up what goes on at Chariho.
    Maybe that’s why the ad¬ministrators are so numer¬ous and well rewarded. It’s not easy work fending off reality.

    Thurman Silks Hopkinton

    Comment by Dorothy — April 26, 2009 @ 10:14 am | Reply

  6. Reading through the Chariho Act, I think I’ve may have found one of the reasons why Mrs. Carney, Mr. Vecchio and Mr. Abbott may have voted to approve this version of the budget. I’m surprised Mrs. Ure didn’t realize this also. No wonder there’s such a short period of time at the end of the fiscal year to be able to vote on the Chariho budget. If we go to last years amounts, Chariho would probably reap the rewards of a higher amount paid to them, in other words, add to the already large surplus. I copied the following from Section 15-3A of the Chariho Act.

    Within thirty (30) days after the school committee adopts its final proposed budget
    for the ensuing year, a budget approval referendum must be held in each of the member towns on
    a single day to be determined by the regional school committee. The vote at referendum shall be
    for the purpose of approving or rejecting the overall total district budget as proposed by the
    regional school committee, and for approving or rejecting any special warrant items proposed by
    the regional school committee. The votes cast in all of the member towns shall be counted in the
    aggregate. The regional school committee shall provide to the canvassers of each of the member
    towns printed information to be displayed at polling places to assist voters in voting. The budget
    approval referendum ballot to be voted on must be substantially as follows:
    “Shall the Chariho Regional School District annual budget for the school year as adopted by
    the regional school committee be approved?
    A majority of all of the votes cast in the member towns at the budget approval referendum,
    counted in the aggregate, shall be required to approve the annual regional school district budget
    proposed by the regional school committee. If the voters do not approve the budget proposed by
    the regional school committee at the budget approval referendum vote, the regional school
    committee shall hold a school committee meeting within fifteen (15) days after the referendum to
    adopt a revised budget in such an amount as the school committee shall determine to be the
    minimum amount necessary to allow the regional school district to operate for the ensuing fiscal
    year in compliance with its contractual obligations and the mandates of applicable federal and
    state laws. Any revised budget adopted at the subsequent school committee meeting must
    thereafter be submitted within thirty (30) days to the voters for approval at referendum in
    accordance with this section. This process shall be repeated until a budget is adopted by the
    regional school committee and approved by the voters at referendum. If, however, a budget is not
    adopted by the regional school committee and approved by the voters before July 1 of each year,
    then the regional school committee shall operate the regional school district in accordance with
    the provisions of section 16-2-23 of the general laws, and the member towns shall make
    payments to the regional school district, based upon the amounts appropriated for the support of
    the schools by the member towns in the preceding fiscal year;
    provided, however, that the right
    of the regional school committee to take all actions it deems necessary under the provisions of
    section 16-2-21.4 of the general laws shall in all events remain in full force and effect at all times
    and shall not be impaired or restricted in any respect by any of the provisions of this act. Any
    referendum held with respect to an annual school budget under this act shall be considered in the
    nature of a local financial meeting and shall not be subject to the provisions of title 17 of the
    general laws.

    Comment by CharihoParent — April 27, 2009 @ 7:17 am | Reply

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