Former finance chief calls for Bristol Warren to deregionalize

Posted

To the editor:
When regionalization was first proposed I was a staunch supporter. The benefits for the future education of our youth in both the communities of Bristol and Warren certainly were evident after consideration of all the facts. There are some who continue to state that we didn’t get everything we were promised and that is correct; we got more. Time has proven that this was the right decision up until a week ago.
As part of the consideration of regionalization was the known fact that the Town of Warren was having great difficulty in paying for the education of their students. They couldn’t do it then, continue to complain about it year after year, and can’t afford today to pay for it on their own.
One of the main concerns when regionalization was discussed was how to bridge any divide between the students and teachers from separate towns. This was never an issues because they got it: it was one district. The problem always lay at the feet of the some members of government and taxpayers who don’t.
I had the honor and the challenge of being the chairman of the Bristol Warren Regional School Joint Finance Committee for ten years. Knowing the intricate details of funding the district has given me great insight into the process.
There will be some in Warren who will say that Bristol never gave any consideration to their financial woes. When I was chairman of the JFC, I always made it a point to meet legally with a representative of that town to gauge exactly what they thought they could afford and do my best to impart that on the members of the committee. There we many years that Bristol could have afforded to appropriate more education funds but deferred to Warren.
The funding formula proposed in the legislation that created the district was quite clear in regard to each town’s obligations. You took the total cost of education, less any aid to education and other funds received, divided it by the number students and each town paid the appropriate amount they owed depending on how many students were enrolled from their town. Bristol historically has always and correctly paid the most as they had the highest number of students enrolled. That was always the intent.
So here we are so many years into something that worked and the Town of Warren through a legal loop hole is now in practice violating the spirit and intent of that legislation costing the taxpayers of Bristol millions of dollars more. A clever move on their part, but once again is typical of the fact that they don’t get this this is one district, period.
As much as I championed the successes of this district I feel that it is now time that serious consideration be given to deregionalize. I would be more than happy to be on a committee to explore that option.
Let Warren be careful of what they wished for and got.
David E. Barboza
92 Constitution St., Bristol

Comments

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Honoré de Balzac

BRAVO!!!

Well stated. Thank you Mr. Barboza for your insight.

Now let's hope that this gets the ball rolling to seriously discuss de-regionalization.

Wednesday, May 17 | Report this
agalag6898

Stick to the pulpit, David. No one wants you on any committees--those days are long gone...

Wednesday, May 17 | Report this
Joe Fillipino

Thats funny Mr. Barboza you now bring this out after the courts agreed with the town of Warren regarding the court suit dealing with the way the two towns divided the payment of funds.Sounds like sour grapes

Wednesday, May 17 | Report this
David Vvsrboza

Joe, maybe you missed my point on legal loophole.

Wednesday, May 17 | Report this
Daryl Gould

So when somebody wins a court battle on merit, it's viewed as a loophole. That's a hot take. If th SC had followed Bob Healey's recommendation 20 years ago that the district insist on the promised regionalization funds be put into a contract with RIDE, this would have been avoided. When RIDE pulled the funding, there was no legal recourse.

I'm sure there is quite a bit of embarrassment now that the Leadership in Bristol has to explain their misinterpretation to the taxpayers. I'm sure you'll find that most people see through the misdirection of blaming Warren as greedy or simply legally savy.

Wednesday, May 17 | Report this
Honoré de Balzac

Mr. Gould - the district is a great deal for Warren - not so much for Bristol. You live on your side of the fence and I live on mine. Your perspective is different, so please don't blame the Bristol taxpayer for questioning the district's value. As seen from Bristol's perspective, it's a money grab, perpetuated by a legal loophole. It's redistribution of wealth - plain and simple. The taxpayers of Bristol have a right to discuss and even demand de-regionalization. You used the courts to your advantage, now it time for Bristol to do the same.

Thursday, May 18 | Report this
Adifferentangle

Remember the "Walkout"

The genesis of this disaster was when construction was behind and the kids had to eat out of a tent. Then came the rats and swarms of bees so they moved to the gymnasium. I remember kids lining the hallways in complete disrespect of a faculty that had no control. Principal after Principal, Dean after Dean, some of us will never forget the chaos and confusion of this horrendous idea that was followed with high drug use and average, at best, test scores.

Give Warren the millions and De-regionalize. Barboza should start with an apology to the Town of Bristol for getting us into this mess.

Let Bristol and Warren COMPETE in EDUCATION, and maybe we can come close to the schools of Barrington. Bristol alone has the potential to be so much more than what it is with having the dead weight of Warren to carry around.

How many of these commenters actually went through the system? Exactly.

Friday, May 19 | Report this

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