Chariho School Parents’ Forum

March 29, 2010

update from Sylvia

Filed under: 1 — Editor @ 10:02 pm

                  CHARIHO            SCHOOL COMMITTEE OVER-ESTIMATED EXPENSE OR UNNECESSARY TAXATION                                                                           

              General Fund        Revenue     Total surplus                                                    

Fy 06 Adopted Budget $46,085,400    $1,922,621                                                                 

 Actual             $44,093,756    $2,630,703                                                                 

Surplus $1,991,644      $708,082         $2,699,726                                                     

FY 07 Adopted            $48,552,771    $2,691,434                                                                 

 Actual $46,483,664    $3,560,165                                                                 

Surplus $2,069,107      $868,731         $2,937,838                                                     

FY 08 Adopted            $50,327,187    $2,999,876                                                                 

 Actual $48,048,414    $3,389,019                                                                 

Surplus $2,278,773      $389,143         $2,667,916                                                     

FY 09 Adopted            $51,559,070    $3,598,605                                                                 

 Actual $50,221,870    $3,235,691                                                                 

Surplus (Deficit)            $1,337,200      ($362,914)       $974,286                                                        

FY 06 is the year the taxpayers cut 2 million. The School Committee stated the entire 2 million was too much due to contractual obligations.                                                                                     

So, voters restored some funding. However years later, the taxpayers learned the budget could have sustained an even larger cut. The audit                                                                                       

proved they ended the year with a surplus of $2.699 million, even after claims the 2 million cut was too excessive.                                                                                             

Fy06, 07, 08, 09 data from Chariho Year-End Audits, capital budget not included.                                                        Prepared by Sylvia Thompson 3/26/10                        

Exhibit 1



  1. Same tricks every year. Most will sit home and the budget will pass again. Chariho education = stupid voters.

    Comment by TomTom — April 5, 2010 @ 7:30 pm | Reply

  2. Below is article that appeared in The Providence Journal in 2006. Sounds like a lot of spending problems in Narragansett as well.

    Budget should be geared to students, not administrators. Providence Journal, editorial Tuesday April 18, 2006 by former Town Councilor David J. Crook.

    Here we go again. The 2006-’07 Narragansett school budget is stepping on stage for approval. accompanied bu the usual applause of the School Department and a majority of the Narragansett School Committee.

    Once again, the school budget represents the bulk of Narragansett’s planned fiscal year spending. As presently constituted, the school appropriation accounts for more than 61 percent of the town’s spending (much higher in Richmond and Hopkinton blogger note)-a school share that has risen consistenly for years, despite declining enrollments during the same period.

    For the past three fiscal years, as well as the coming year, the Narrgansett school budget has appreciated over,or almost over, $1 million dollars per year, despite significant enrollment declines.

    And how are the annual increases funded, you might ask? Well, for the next year, the Narragansett taxpayers will again be invited to fill in the extra spending gaps. Attempting to emulate Henry V on route to Agincourt, the School Committee will exhort us to open our pocketbooks (“Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more . . .”)

    It is the same old story of a School Department and a School Committee maority measuring management success on new programs, personnel and raises, rather than on practical budgeting dicipline. In fact, there was indeed more restraint this year, versus earlier cycles. But as outgoing Sprt. Albert E. Honnen Sr. noted, “it’s more improtant to show that we’re trying to be as frugal as we can, to show people we’re trying to live within our means.”

    He was referring, of course, to the impending $21.5 million bond referendum, whch the taxpayers will be voting on in November __ at bond issue for urgently needed school repairs would settle many years of infrastructure nelect, while school spending was squandered on administrative excess and salary extravangance.

    Narrgansett’s school population has declined by about 400 students during the last 10 years; by 65 aline in the current year. (not a regional district noted by blogger).

    Despite this erosion,the school budgets have been experiencing those $1 -million increases annually. And how does the proposed budget react to the smaller classes? Taxpayers are being asked to ant up an extra $579,470 or 58.1 percent of the the recommended overall school budget increase for next year, to pay for increasced salaries to supervise those streamlined classes. And 41 percent of the anticipated salary increases are apporteioned for new positions.

    Doug Wardwell has pointed out that 81 percent of Narragansett’s 133 teachers stand at the top of the schools’ salary steps, making over $85, 250 annually, including benefits and stipends. He has also noted that more than six administrators make more than $125,000 annually, including benefits. As a result of this munificence, Narragansett has the honor of possing the most expensively educated estudents in the state, including Block Island. It will cost Narragansett’s taxpyers $16,276 to educate each of its students.

    Of course, Narragansett, fortunately has superior corps of excellent teachers. We should be proud of them and reward them well for the efforts. On the other hand, given the long-term prevailing trends in health-care costs, and employee participation in paying for them, is the School Committee justied in boasting that the teachers have now agreed to pay a miniscule one-half of of one percent ($250 of a $50,000 salary) as their share of health costs? (In comparison, Narragansett school drivers, earning an average of $17,000 annually, pay $3,000 for their heath-care coverage.)

    The most recent test scores show that Narragansett’s students have exceeded the statewide averages. However, despite Narrgansett’s better (and much more expensive)teacher to student ratio of 8.3 to 1, the neighboring towns of North Kingstown and South Kingstown achieved overall higher scores with much bigger classes, hence higher ratios of 13 to 1 and 9.5 to 1 respectively.

    Analyzing educational effeciency in terms of spending per student, the performance of comparably sized towns can be enlightening. The ability of Scituate and North Smithfield to provide a good education to their students at much lower costs, raises serious questions about the validity of Narragansett school spending.

    The Narragansett 2006-’07 budget is $26,125,631 with 1,605 students, for a cost per pupil of $16,277; in Scituate the $19,761,800 budget covers 1,818 students, for a cost per pupil of $10,870 students; and in North Smithfield, a budget of $19,276,696, for 1,885 amounts to a cost per pupil of $10,266.

    Narragansett can and should make much better use of its educational investment. The town must avoid the profligacy of the past and allocate funds more judiciously. Narragansett should focus more on the student, with larger proportions of spending for teachers and infrastructure and less emphasis on capricious and costl programmatic and admistrative expenditures such as “aspiring principals.”

    Tuesday April 18, 2006
    Letter to the Editor
    Providence Journal

    Comment by james hirst — May 14, 2010 @ 9:02 am | Reply

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