My Two Cents
Do you think it would be fair for Dighton taxpayers to pay for Rehoboth’s students? Or vice a versa? Every regional school follows an “alternative” method in funding by the member towns. Why doesn’t Dighton Rehoboth have an alternative method that basically states that each member town pay for its students? Don’t you think that’s fair? Why would one town pay to educate another towns students?
When I refer to an alternative method, I am referring to this “wealth” formula that was put into place in the early 2000’s…..Which basically changed the way schools were funded. It took into account not only the value of your house (how much you would get from property taxes) but also the town residents income. Why you would factor income into the formula makes absolutely no sense. Rehoboth is considered a “wealthy” town for purposes of calculating chapter 70 money. As a result, Rehoboth receives 40% funding vs Dighton’s 50% funding. If the school committee voted for an alternative method, Rehoboth would pay more per student than Dighton. I’m not arguing this….I’m arguing that Rehoboth currently pays not only for its own students but is subsidizing Dighton. You might be asking, how can that be? Who would let this happen? Why wouldn’t the school committee vote that each town pays for its respective students?
If this wealth formula was in place some 25 years ago when Dighton and Rehoboth were looking to regionalize, neither town would have signed the agreement. Take a look at the column from Michael McBride. He and his wife, Susan, spent countless hours getting information and speaking to people at the state level to try to explain what is happening in our district. Please take some time to read it…it is very well written.
I’ve been talking about this for some time…..when I sat on the Finance committee back in 2006, my board saw this “freight train” coming down the track (freight train called wealth formula) and how devastating it would be to Rehoboth. Rehoboth Tax payers are paying to educate Dighton students. Why do I think that if Dighton was paying to educate Rehoboth students there would be an alternative method in place?
If you are a taxpayer in Rehoboth, contact your school committee member and superintendent and TELL them you want your tax dollars to pay to educate Rehoboth students, not Dighton…and to vote for an Alternative Method like every other regional school. Rehoboth pays to educate their children and Dighton pays to educate its children. It’s so basic….it’s beyond crazy that our school committee and school administrators don’t insist on it.