After attending the regionalization presentation at the Gaudet Middle School on May 3, 2011, and was spoon fed from only one side, I felt it necessary to tell you what regionalization will really cost you, and what Title 16 Education CHAPTER 16-3, entitled, "Establishment of Regional School Districts," the law that a regionalized school district operates under, means to you.
A regional school district planning committee from any two (2) or more cities or towns may join together to form a regional school district planning board or boards. If they recommend regionalization, they submit a report of its findings and recommendations to the city or town councils, and copies of the agreement drawn shall be submitted to the state Board of Regents for elementary and secondary education for review and recommendation to the several cities or towns for their acceptance. Upon the cities' or town councils' receipt of a recommendation from the state Board of Regents that a regional school district should be formed, of a proposed agreement submitted, the city or town councils shall place on the official warrant for the warning and calling of a special referendum to be held within six (6) months after receipt of the recommendation by the city or town council in substantially the following form:
"Shall the city or town accept the provisions of chapter 3 of title 16, providing for the establishment of a regional school district, together with the cities or towns of ]]]]]]]] and ]]]]]]]], and the construction, maintenance, and operation of regional schools by the district in accordance with the provisions of a proposed agreement filed with the city or town council?"
If a majority of the voters voting on the question in each of the several cities or towns shall vote in the affirmative to accept this chapter, the provisions of this chapter shall apply, and the proposed regional school district shall be deemed to be established in accordance with the terms of the agreement adopted.
The regional school district shall be subject to the statutory debt limit for incurring debt for capital outlay purposes in those regional school districts embracing all the educational functions of the area to ten percent (10%) of the full valuation of the taxable real property within the district as determined by the department of administration. If this results in increasing the debt requirements over the debt limits of any town or city which represents less than half (1/2) of the true valuation of the regional school district, this shall not be considered as a violation of the debt limit in the town or city.
Costs of operation – Payment of debts – Apportionment among district members. – (a) The cost of the operation of a regional school district and the cost of payment of an indebtedness shall be borne by the member towns and/or cities in that proportion that the equalized weighted assessed valuation of the property of the towns and cities as determined from the latest figure certified by the department of revenue bears to the total equalized weighted assessed valuation of the total property, not the ability of the people to pay, or, if not available, the latest figures on equalized weighted assessed valuation used by the state department of elementary and secondary education in determining equalization aid under chapter 7 of this title shall be used.
School committees of regional school districts – Powers and duties. . – (a) A regional school district established under the provisions of § 16-3-10 shall be a body politic and corporate with all the powers and duties conferred by law upon school committees and with the following additional powers and duties:
(1) To adopt a name and a corporate seal.
(2) To sue and be sued but only to the same extent and upon the same conditions that a city or town may sue or be sued.
(3) To acquire by purchase, gift, or other means of transfer or by condemnation, (EMINENT DOMAIN) land, and improvements within the district as a site for a school or schools. To acquire also by this method the rights of way and other easements as may be required in connection with the use of the site.
(ii) For the purpose of acquiring land by condemnation(EMINENT DOMAIN) for the site, the regional district is given all the powers conferred upon cities or towns for the condemnation, (EMINENT DOMAIN), of land for school purposes by § 16-9-5.
(iii) Upon the filing of the description, plat, and statement of the land taken, the title to the land shall vest absolutely and in fee simple in the regional school district, and the district, acting by and through the district committee and its duly authorized agents, may immediately enter and take possession of your land without any process of law required by statute or common law, and remove any or all buildings, property, or other impediments, and occupy, use, and improve the land for the purposes of this chapter notwithstanding any other provision of law. You will lose your rights to sue the school district.
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