REHOBOTH TOWN MEETING 2020 WARRANT ARTICLE
TO SEE IF THE TOWN WILL APPROVE THE WITHDRAWAL OF K-8 GRADES FROM THE DIGHTON-REHOBOTH REGIONAL SCHOOL DISTRICT IN ACCORDANCE WITH SECTION IX OF THE REGIONAL AGREEMENT, AND TO DIRECT THE BOARD OF SELECTMEN TO TAKE ALL RELATIVE ACTION HERETO.
We must withdraw K-8 from our present K-12 regional school district. Why, because we have lost control of our schools due primarily to the takeover by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education commonly known as DESE. Another big factor is in a regional district we have to contend with the other town’s school committee. We have 5 members and Dighton has 5 members, 7 is a majority vote and invariably all 5 Dighton members vote as a block against Rehoboth. And even a bigger problem for a long time, 2 or more Rehoboth members vote along with Dighton!!!!!
DESE by state laws has assumed the power to usurp our local control. These laws have been approved by the majority of our state senators and representatives.
Our own history:
DESE developed a new statutory budgeting formula which allows the least wealthiest town in a regional district to select the budgeting formula which has cost Rehoboth millions of dollars since 2014. Previously, for years, they used the Alternative Method, an equitable formula. Rehoboth has no say! The least wealthy town is based on personal wealth and property valuations.
DESE allows our regional school committee to nullify our town meeting votes. THREE times last year.
DESE declared we had to have a “TENT” meeting because our school committee refused to accept our town meeting votes. A tent meeting would have included Dighton! Again Dighton residents could vote to deny us.
DESE declared they were going to set a 1/12 budget at $45,000,000 which they did. No consideration, no input from anyone, no discussion, this was several hundred thousand MORE than even our school committee was asking!
We can withdraw from the existing K-12 regional agreement because the regional agreement states we can. Several years ago a joint committee attempted to revise our regional agreement. It failed because thankfully it was voted down by Rehoboth because Dighton wanted to eliminate the K-8 withdrawal clause.
As you can see a regional district is a terrible arrangement. DESE recommends that the thing to do is to find more towns to join our regional district. As you can see any town that is aware of the consequences would never enter a regional district unless they were the least wealthy town.
The residents of Rehoboth who signed the petition to withdraw have been researching this dilemma for several years and we have come to this conclusion, WE must WITHDRAW FROM K-8. It is essential that We get OUR CONTROL BACK. We will have our own control of a Standalone K-8 Rehoboth School System.
Remember when we find out the date of the 2020 Town meeting, we must be there in order to get our control BACK!!!!!! It is our right but only if we use it! PLEASE VOTE TO WITHDRAW K-8!!!!!!! It REQUIRES a 2/3 vote.
Hope to see you there!
a signatory to the petition to WITHDRAW K-8