Meeting of the joint governing bodies of the Chariho School District

On September 18, the Town Councils of Charlestown, Richmond, and Hopkinton, and members of the Chariho Regional School Committee met to initiate joint discussions of the School District.

Charlestown had preceded this discussion by explaining to the residents of Charlestown through the Pipeline newsletter the drastic impact of a district wide property tax for Chariho.

The Town Councils of Richmond and Hopkinton introduce tax equalization from time to time and their State Representative has claimed the legislature can do what it wants with the Chariho Act, although he says he wouldn’t introduce tax equalization legislation without the consent of the governing bodies.. The current Charlestown government has made it clear that they will not accept a district wide property tax for schools. It would be cheaper for Charlestown to pay tuition for our students in other bordering districts. Tax equalization would force Charlestown out of the Chariho district.

With a pledge of no compromise on tax equalization four members of the Charlestown Town Council attended the joint meeting (Councilor Paula Andersen did not attend). Despite our pledge not to compromise on this topic, Hopkinton did try to introduce a partial equalization scheme, through an equitable sharing of fixed costs. This was quickly dismissed and the meeting moved on.

To read a report of the meeting please see the online article at the Westerly Sun