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.