Schools made right decision by dropping from Roughrider Education Services ProgramThe two biggest schools in the Roughrider Education Services Program dropped out this year.
The two biggest schools in the Roughrider Education Services Program dropped out this year. This is a flag that something is wrong.
RESP was organized in 2002 to provide leadership for shared educational services in the region. More than a dozen districts pay to be members.
Dickinson Catholic Schools withdrew in March, citing membership costs as a main reason.
Dickinson Public Schools dropped out earlier this month. Among its reasons is the organization doesn’t meet its needs.
School Board members said they felt confident that withdrawing would not have a significant negative impact on students or staff and that the district would be able to find ways to provide the services RESP was supposed to be providing them.
Congratulations to Dickinson’s Dr. Doug Sullivan and the board and to Dickinson Catholic Schools for not accepting the status quo and pulling away from something they don’t believe provides a favorable opportunity when the money could be spent better elsewhere.
Dickinson Public Schools’ decision to withdraw also includes disagreements about policies, equal treatment, financial concerns and being stripped of the responsibility as the fiscal agent.
Finances for the organization come from a per-student payment by the state and a $750 membership fee for each district. Some revenue comes from grants, according to RESP’s website.
Killdeer School District has been named the fiscal agent and school board members will be provided more information concerning what that means at their 7 p.m. meeting Wednesday. They will also formally approve or deny the responsibility.
RESP elects a chairman and vice chairman and meets six times per year to make decisions. The budget allows for about $200,500 in expenses. Last year it was about $176,300, according to records.
Administrators from each district elect a chairman and vice chairman and meet monthly. Along with the director and educational facilitator they determine the administrative and student activities.
A director is employed for 145 days, an educational facilitator is employed for 110 days and the group has a half-time administrative assistant, according to the website.
The next RESP Administrative Board meeting is at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 3 at the Strom Center, according the group’s website. Anyone who’d like more input on how this organization serves students and staff should attend.
Dissent was clear between members at a recent RESP Governing and Administrative Board meeting and we agree with Dickinson’s decision to disband.
There is a possibility the loss of DPS and the Catholic Schools will be an advantage for the smaller districts, which may not have the resources of these bigger schools.
We know the leaders at the remaining member schools are keeping true to what’s important and will ensure fiscally sound decisions are made to the benefit of the students.
The Editorial Board consists of Dickinson Press Publisher Harvey Brock and Editor Jennifer McBride. Send letters to the editor to McBride at email@example.com