SOS: School Committee Public Forum
Once again, an outside statewide organization official has come before the citizens of Dighton and Rehoboth to openly state that the DR School Committee has followed the exact process laid out by Mass General Laws, and that they have offered the Town of Rehoboth adequate, if not excessive, time and opportunity to act.
The main takeaway from Tuesday’s forum is that the DRRSD is on-par if not below the average spending levels above the state-required minimum. If you have not had a chance to watch MASC Field Director Tracy Novick’s presentation, please visit our Facebook page ( @SaveDRRSD ) to watch the live stream video. In addition, Ms. Novick reiterated that the SC has every legal right to schedule a district-wide meeting before the Rehoboth Board of Selectmen’s Proposition 2 ½ Override election, which is looking to be scheduled for September 10th at their meeting this Monday. Keep in mind that this is five days after the first day of school (September 5th)!
Save Our Schools would like to reaffirm our trust in School Committee Chairperson Katherine Cooper. Her judgment on these decisions is that of an expert, and she continues to show the Dighton-Rehoboth community that she is working in the best interest of our students. It was made quite clear on Tuesday night that many citizens are targeting their frustrations at the School Committee and the Central Administration over this budget crisis that we are in. To remind everyone, the School Committee has done everything in their power to keep their budget assessment to the highest potential it could be without having to make cuts to students’ education. The decision to cut 4 administrative positions, along with sports and co-curricular activities, was very difficult for the SC to make. They have reassured the public that this is the best way to reduce their budget to the 1/12th threshold without directly affecting the education of our students. It was the actions in the previous months that include town boards refusing to cooperate with the school department regarding their budget requests and the amendment on Article One at the July 16th Special Town Meeting that have led us to where we are. If voters or students would like more information as to why this happened, please contact the Rehoboth BOS Chair, Gerry Schwall, or the Rehoboth FinComm Chair, Mike Deignan.
While we remain confident in Chairperson Cooper, Save Our Schools is hesitant to rely on talks between the BOS and SC for progress forward. We do value the efforts of Selectman Costello and Chairperson Cooper to try and come together for our students, but the BOS’ attempt to solve the problem with their override is unrealistic. After the 2018 override, many throughout the Town of Rehoboth will not support yet another tax increase even if the Selectmen are in support of it. In addition, Mass General Laws (Chapter 71, Section 16B) state that the next step in the process is a district-wide meeting, which should be taking place! The School Committee has already voted in favor of a district-wide meeting contingent on Chairperson Cooper and Vice Chairperson Rachel Dingus finding a date and venue. Any attempt to compromise by the BOS after this decision by the SC is just a strategy to delay the district-wide meeting and prevent SOS and the SC from organizing!
Save Our Schools has officially registered with the Federal Elections Commission to become a Non-connected Political Action Committee, with Chris Hoskins as Chairperson and Tamara Stevens as Treasurer. Our goal will continue to be raising awareness of what’s going on, but we will also start raising money to further support our school district politically. We will be focused on making sure both the Regional School Committee and both Boards of Selectmen reflect strong support for our school district. It is time for our two towns to come together and stand strong as one community. It is time for our elected officials to be held accountable. It is time to Save Our Schools!
SOS Leadership Team