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Superintendent, School Committee Vice Chair Respond To Budget Demand

Both say a budget should be ready by May 11.

 

Superintendent Giovanna Donoyan's press release today in response to City Council President John Ward's demand of a budget by May 11 cites many structural obstacles that have prevented earlier delivery.

However, both Donoyan and School Committee Vice Chair Vimala Phongsavanh say a budget should be delivered before May 11.

"I think that's enough time," Phongsavanh said.

Donoyan's release was less certain. "I am hopeful that the auditors will be satisfied so that a realistic budget can be delivered by the next school committee meeting on May 9.  However, my hands are tied until I receive an accurate budget from our financial experts,” Donoyan wrote.

According to Donoyan's release, Dina Dutremble, who the city hired to sort out school finances, found many financial items that remain unresolved. "That includes missing/inadequate financial documentation, lack of detailed budget items from the past 2 years, and discrepancies in the Uniform Chart of Accounts relative to the expenses for FYs 09, 10, and 11,” Donoyan wrote. 

Donoyan continued, “In addition, while I thank the City for hiring Mrs. Dutremble to work and complete financial reports for the City and WED, she has made it clear she is not interested in working on our FY13 budget. The lack of solid financial information from the past makes the job of developing an accurate future budget an inexact science.  Moreover it is the School Committee’s hired auditors, B and E Consulting, Inc. that have been tasked with completion of the FY 2013 budget,"

B and E Consulting, Inc., said Phongsavanh, was just hired last week.

Regarding Ward's resolution that the School Committee ask for Donoyan's termination if the budget isn't in by May 11, "I think it's very unfair to ask that she be terminated if she doesn't hand in a budget on time," Phongsavanh said.

Phongsavanh said she was under the impression the school department was being given leeway in light of recent events, including the departure of School Business Manager Stacey Busbee. Ward mentioned Monday that the council had waited in consideration of the school department's difficulties, but couldn't afford further delays.

Phongsavanh said Donoyan is doing three people's work. "She's working very hard, I can guarantee that," she said. Also, she said, "I really do understand the concern of wanting to get a budget in."

She noted School Committee members want a budget for the schools, too. Phongsavanh said she will support the call School Committee Chair Anita Forcier-McGuire said the board will make on Thursday for a budget to be delivered May 11. She said she is not among those who have lost patience with the superintendent.

joe May 02, 2012 at 05:37 PM
Apparently, the Vice-Chair and Superintendent are two of the few adults in the room.
Karen May 02, 2012 at 05:44 PM
Apparently "joe" is the Superintendent.
John May 02, 2012 at 07:47 PM
Vimala has yet to attend a joint workshop with the City Council and School Committee so how would she know the financial deadlines and how pressing they are??
Rolco May 03, 2012 at 02:36 AM
The City of Woonsocket is fortunate to have the skill level Dr. Donoyan brings to the district at this crucial time. For the Mayor to state that she should be terminated if a budget deadline is not met is out of his realm of responsibility. On the flip side, should his ultimatum come to fruition, who would ever want to take over the position of Superintendent under these circumstances. Mr. Mayor needs to be careful what he wishes for.
joe May 03, 2012 at 03:30 AM
No; Dr. Donoyan is.
give me a break May 03, 2012 at 08:40 AM
what will we be talkong about next year, Oh yeah the 16 mil over spend by the school, break out the supplement tax bills
DonQ May 03, 2012 at 11:43 AM
Why is the Vice Chairman acting as the spokesperson for the School Committee. She is a big part of the problem that has led to the taxpayers being held prisoner to a disgraceful supplemental tax. The vice chair has proven that she is not watching the taxpayers dollars and has no problem with the overspending and lack of accountability by the WED. Why aren't we hearing input from the Chairman?
George Lacouture May 03, 2012 at 12:14 PM
Thank you Vimala for having the most level headed position on this matter.
RonW May 03, 2012 at 10:30 PM
http://news.providencejournal.com/breaking-news/2012/05/providence-ri---83.html
Novan for Life May 12, 2012 at 12:32 AM
correction that was john ward who suggested that

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