Richmond, RI – With battlelines already being drawn on the Chariho School District’s budget, the Forgotten Taxpayers PAC demands that school officials leverage the state-wide data in the uniform chart of accounts (UCOA) to find savings. There is a real opportunity this budget season to move away from an endless ratcheting of the budget up and work to rightsize the spending to match current enrollment, which has steadily decreased. Despite the failure to ever look beyond the Rhode Island borders, there are real examples of high performing school districts to emulate right here in the state.
As a political action committee, the organization does have the legal authority to raise money and to make donations to candidate campaigns.
A recent story on the Beaver River Valley Association (BRVA) dated February 17th asks the question, “Is Chariho’s Per Pupil Cost Really That High?” The answer is a resounding YES! While Chariho costs more per pupil than 38 of the 62 reporting entities, the BRVA story compares Chariho to the other regional school districts…all of which are above the state median per pupil cost. “Somewhere along the line, regionalization stopped meaning economies of scale and cost savings,” says Clay Johnson, treasurer of the Forgotten Taxpayers PAC. “Instead, regionalization has been used as a tool to complexify the budget process,” Johnson continued. Certainly, a regionalized Chariho should be cheaper than having three different administrations for
the three combined towns.
In an effort to defend their overspending, Gina Picard, Chariho Superintendent, indicated that Barrington has a higher household income than the Chariho towns. Louise Dinsmore, President of Forgotten Taxpayers, agreed. “Barrington does have a higher household income; they can afford more spending on their schools, yet they still do it for less than Chariho. And they pay their teachers more than Chariho. This should be clear evidence that there are efficiencies to be found,” says Dinsmore.
“With a surprise ‘windfall’ contribution from the state and $650,000 in faux ‘cuts’” Chariho is looking at its largest budget ever. If you believe that the budget shenanigans should stop, visit us at ForgottenTaxpayers.com and join the fight! The Forgotten Taxpayers PAC is committed to its goal of leading a grassroots effort to champion and promote fiscal responsibility, keeping the taxpayers at the forefront of all decisions relative to town and school spending,” concluded Dinsmore.
The public can contact the PAC at ForgottenTaxpayers@gmail.com .
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