September 25, 2023

Why Dighton Rehoboth K-8 Withdrawal?


Years ago in 1987 Dighton and Rehoboth joined in an agreement to form a regional K-12 school district. At that time it was a fair and equitable decision. Now however it is not. The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) has changed the equation without a say by regional districts. These changes do not affect a non-regional district, “A Stand Alone District”.

Some of the negative results of these regional mandates are; a wealth formula that favors the least wealthy town. This is based on each town’s personal income and the property values. Rehoboth has a population of 13K +, and Dighton is 8K+. The average income of the two is very similar, so of course Dighton would be the least wealthy town. As a result their school committee members can determine the budget formula to use, which favors Dighton. In a standalone district this cannot happen. A regional school district by DESE rules allows the joint school committees by a majority vote can nullify a Town Meeting’s vote. By a vote of eight out of 10 school committee members did this, 5 from Dighton and 3 of our own members. In 2019 the eight voted to nullify three town meeting votes, one of which on July 18, 2019, the largest attendance ever,1025, of which 187 voted to accept, 838 voted not to accept the District’s budget. This is the power DESE has given to a regional school district, 838 votes just cancelled!! No one should be able to throw out a majority vote! The right to your vote should be sacred.

These are examples of just a few of regional districts inequities. By not being in a regional district none of this can happen. Only Rehoboth would be in control of our K-8 as result of the Wealth Formula and the Statutory Formula we have basically lost control of our own schools.

For fiscal year 2023, due to these rules Rehoboth is paying 67% of K–12 budget. Research analysis of the fiscal 2023 budget by backing out the K-8 costs has shown that Rehoboth would have saved approximately 4.1 million dollars by being in a standalone school district.

For these reasons I would ask you to please attend our Special Town Meeting on August 6th, Saturday, 1 p.m. at Francis Farm, in order to take back our own control for the betterment of our children’s education. This will be the only article on the warrant.

Respectfully, Jay Crandall,
a concerned citizen for better education.

There will be two public meetings for residents to attend to ask questions and get information: Thursday, June 23rd and Thursday, July 21st, 7p.m. at Francis Farm, COA Building.

For more information go to Town of Rehoboth website, Boards and Committees, K-8 Withdrawal.


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