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As we approach the end of the school year, students from elementary to high school are preparing for final exams. They are hoping for high marks. The best students like to show how much they’ve learned.

What if we asked children to grade us, the adults, on how we’re meeting their basic needs?

One in four households with children in Rhode Island are food insecure, meaning they struggle to afford adequate food. To feed their children, thousands of parents seek food assistance each month at food pantries that are member agencies of the Rhode Island Community Food Bank.

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Twenty-five years ago, a group comprised of community members and school personnel had a vision to create a non-profit organization to support the students and teachers of the South Kingstown School District. At the end of this 2021/2022 school year, the volunteer organization South Kingstown C.A.R.E.S.,  will be closing its doors. SK CARES would like to acknowledge the contributions from the community over the years. 

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Budgeting is hard.  It’s not a process most people enjoy.  If you’ve ever tried to make a household budget you know that not everyone in your own family agrees on where money should be spent. Now imagine being responsible for creating a budget for an entire town. The Town Council has to do just that. As stated in their FY2023 budget message, the past two years have provided unprecedented challenges.  This year’s budget is particularly challenging due to rising inflation coupled with a state mandated re-evaluation for homeowners. The burden that this places on residents is real and cannot be overlooked.   

The amount of the school budget, given that it’s the largest single expenditure for the town, deserves to be scrutinized. 

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In a letter last week, Ms. Kliever states that your recent headline “School Committee deflects responsibility for Thomas,” which was, in her words, “Straight out wrong.”  To substantiate her claim she quotes school committee member Ms. Hildebrand, “we must follow the law,” which there is little evidence of.  Ms. Kliever also references “documented evidence of employee wrongdoing, which was the reason for the third-party investigative report” which the school committee hid from the public and regulatory agencies.  She concludes her argument by stating “the main concern is for the kids who have been harmed.” We wish that had been the case.

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In the published letter to The Independent dated March 17, 2022 “Don’t be misled by social media posts”, two significant factual errors need to be responded to and are found in the following two quotes.

First quote: “Members from three volunteer commissions (Planning, Conservation, and Groundwater) spoke and endorsed the proposed water ordinance.”

This statement is incorrect by omission.

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The following speech was made to the Narragansett Town Council on March 21, 2022.

Dear Honorable Town Council President, Town Council Members, Town Manager, Town Planner, and honored guests:

A decision for the leased land in Galilee should be fast approaching, so let us hope the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management -RIDEM- will select the Town of Narragansett’s Proposal for Galilee.

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Developers will love the recent Town Council vote to downgrade North Kingstown’s Drinking Water Wellhead and Reservoir Protections.

The DEM and URI experts stated the regulations posed no “current” risk.  But what about the future? Increased development, former “prohibited uses now allowed,” increasing population and unpredictable rainfall — these are a few of what the future holds.

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“School Committee deflects responsibility for Thomas” was an actual headline in the March 24 edition of the Independent. After reading the article underneath, this struck me as a very poor choice of words, and was straight out wrong. The reporter totally misinterpreted School Committee Member Lisa Hildebrand’s response to accusations made during public comments at last week’s School Committee meeting.