Letter: Establish separate school taxing district
To the editor,
I have been reading with interest the ongoing saga regarding the Bristol Warren Regional School District.
Much of the discussion seems to center around the financing and the fair distribution of taxes and aid for each of the communities. This problem is endless and will never be resolved if the current method of governance remains.
Currently, a regional school committee oversees the general operation and financing of the district. Overseeing this committee is a regional finance committee, approving, modifying or rejecting the regional school committee’s budget request. The request is then forwarded to the local governing boards of each community to be included in their budgets. Needless to say, much of the discussions regarding fairness are at this level.
One solution to this is to change the governance structure and allow the district to become an independent entity with the authority to levy taxes to support the educational system. The governing body could be a seven-member committee elected either districtwide or from seven equally populated voting districts spanning the two communities.
No longer will the distribution of state aid be in question since the district would receive aid as one community, and the tax burden would be equally distributed since the property valuations will be equally applied along with an equalized tax rate. Voters in the districts would have the opportunity to vote governing school committees in or out.
Of course, the other solution, as often proposed, is to deregionalize. So as we ponder this issue, Bristol, Warren, what solution do we choose? Continue in our adversarial positions, spilt the districts apart or seek a solution that will benefit our children and the well-being of our two communities.
Men and women elected to serve, remember that you pledged to serve all, including the youth who we are obligated to educate,
29 Tobin Lane