Superintendent Patricia Chamberlain…our local boards of education DO report to local boards of finance, and do have a responsibility to the taxpayers…. 2

Superintendent Patricia Chamberlain comment to the Kent Board Of Education on local boards of education power in a story in this mornings Republican-American….

“You report to the state Board of Education,” she
said, stressing that while the boards need to work together,
the education board does not report to the Board of Finance.

Our superintendent forgets that the local school board does indeed “report” to boards of finance. They request money, and the board of finance either approves the request or not. The local boards of finance have no authority on HOW the money is spent after they approve the request, but the local boards of finance do have the legal authority to represent taxpayers and inform local school boards the amount of money much they will be allotted in their budgeting.


  1. The particular matter in Kent is one of capital project/s. In individual towns if money outside the Board of Education’s operating budget is going to be used for an item outside that operating budget, which is the case here, then it is the executive authority (Board of Selectmen) of the Town that is in charge of such a project. There may be a Committee formed by the Board of Selectmen to coordinate the work, but the Committee reports back to the Board of Selectmen. The Board of Finance is involved as it is this body that has to allow the cost of the project be brought to Town meeting for approval by the legislative body if money from a capital account is going to fund the project or if monies are going to be borrowed. In fact, if State reimbursement is going to apply then a form for the State has to be completed by the Town and signed by the first selectman.

    While local boards are agents of the State that applies to educational matters. The building is owned by the taxpayers eq: the Town and not by the Board of Education. The Business Manager of the district is aware of the protocol for capital projects. That the superintendent repeatedly provides incorrect information to Boards of Education is more than a little sad. She has misinformed at least one other local Board of Education when a capital project was planned. Fortunately, the Town’s “fathers” were well aware of the procedure and worked through the Business Manager so that mistakes as a result of her advice would be avoided.

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