Woonsocket School Committee Asks State To Take Over Schools

Letter to Education Commissioner Deborah Gist says WED can't balance budget.


The Woonsocket School Committee has asked the RI Department of Education to take over, citing their inability to balance the budget while educating the city's students.

The Committee voted 4 to 1 to send the letter, according to Turnto10.com, during their Wednesday night meeting at , 60 Florence Dr., and the state education department has reported it's ready to work with them. After Wednesday's Budget Commission hearing, RI Director of Revenue Rosemary Booth Gallogly said RIDE was cognizant of the Woonsocket School system's troubles. "They obviously are concerned about events in Woonsocket," she said.

Superintendent Giovanna Donoyan told the Woonsocket Budget Commission yesterday that the while the school department recommended asking 54 teachers back from layoffs, the schools do not have the money to pay those teachers. Though the department faces a $10 million deficit this year, the teachers would be paid from next year's budget, which faces a potential $7 million shortfall as well. City Finance Director Thomas Bruce said the Budget Commission will balance that budget.

But school officials were not confident they could run effectively on what will remain to them, particularly with the defeat of the supplemental tax bill Tuesday. During Wednesday's Budget Commission meeting, Donoyan told the panel their efforts to call the 54 teachers back assumed the supplemental tax would help address next year's shortfall.

The letter, WPRI.com reports, states the school department cannot both balance the budget and educate the district's 6,000 students.

Dagny Taggart June 14, 2012 at 09:43 PM
No John, That is not what I am saying at all. I am saying taxpayers should get the right to buses regardless where their kids go to school. I don't know where you got the other ideas about unfair treatment but I apologize if my post was unclear. I don't know what the contract is for Mount and the school buses but I am pretty darn sure they aren't free. I believe the kids who live in the towns where their parents pay taxes have a right to the school bus and should not be excluded just because they go to a private school that their parents pay dearly for and do without many things in an effort to afford. As it stands I carpooled both my children along with neighborhood kids in North Smithfield and Woonsocket since 1997.
Dagny Taggart June 14, 2012 at 09:46 PM
So John, On your second post please refer to my first repsonse..and I quote you "but not when it comes to services affecting my children". Clearly it did affect my children, we didn't get those services. In terms of regionalization there would be several systems joining in the shared expense of busing.
Still Hope June 14, 2012 at 10:11 PM
Regionalization of schools doesn't work in such integrated areas like parts of RI. In Woonsocket, for instance, the disparity in math proficiency between whites and black is remarkable in the higher grades. Something to the tune of 35% vs 10% proficient. This means that urban schools are already unable to reach out to blacks. What do you think will happen when you throw even more whites into the mix from regionalization? You think blacks will get the focus they need? I am singling out blacks for illustrative purposes, but the same applies to cities that have a disproportion of other minorities, learning disabilities, social structures, etc. It would be funny to see all the white boys from Div II Cumberland try to make the basketball team over the black kids from Div I Woonsocket.
Rob Borkowski June 14, 2012 at 10:43 PM
Dagny - Thanks for pointing out that typo. I don't live in Woonsocket, nor do I go to school there. Where I live shouldn't affect my ability to spell - but the typo was inexcusable and embarrassing, even so.
Ruth Carreiro June 15, 2012 at 01:50 AM
Public schools have been falling short for decades. Teaching was a vocation not a career. Money has not improved the quality of teaching. Teachers should be on salary like the rest of workers who are in the present income bracket. Teachers should work as many hours as needed to assist the weakest student.


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