Full-Day Kindergarten isn't likely to return this September, said John Ward, council president and Woonsocket Budget Commission member. The School Committee is still looking for a way to provide it without additional funding.
Ward's statement came during Tuesday afternoon's Woonsocket Budget Commission meeting, in lieu of the comments of Superintendent Giovanna Donoyan, who did not attend the meeting. Ward said it was important to let parents know full-day Kindergarten wasn't something they should plan for this fall.
The problem, Ward said, is that state funding only pays for about a third of the cost of returning full-day Kindergarten. To make the program a reality, the school department must come up with another $1 million to pay for about 11 teachers to staff the program.
Ward said the Budget Commission won't support raising taxes to bring back the program. "We've already asked for all there is to ask for there," he said.
Mayor Leo Fontaine said news of the additional state funding would've been more useful earlier in the year while the Budget Commission was still working on the city's budget. He said he supports the idea, as do the other members of the commission, but the funding has to be found within the School Department budget as it stands.
After the Aug. 7 meeting, Ward said, the Budget Commission asked the School Committee to find cuts within its budget to pay for full-day Kindergarten, but that's not likely to happen before school begins.
"I think the public needs to be aware that the superintendent made it quite clear that there is no guarantee of full-day K," Ward said.