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City Council Considers Adding $3.9M to Warwick Schools Budget

Warwick City Hall
Warwick City Hall. Surplus
Warwick City Hall.

UPDATE Friday, 7:14 p.m.: The meeting scheduled for Saturday, July 20, 2019, has been cancelled and rescheduled for Tuesday July 23, 7 p.m..

UPDATE Friday 1:38 p.m. : On Friday, Councilman Anthony Sinapi wrote in response to discussion on the Council resolution and the conditions placed on the additional funding it would approve.

On the Community of Warwick Schools (Let’s Save Warwick Schools) Facebook page, Sinapi wrote, “It’s my understanding that the resolution was drafted by the Council’s solicitor based on his communications with the Council President and the School Committee’s attorney. I’ve kept in touch with the Chair of the School Committee, and I will be making amendments as necessary to make sure the resolution works for everyone, just like last time.”

WARWICK, RI — The Warwick City Council has scheduled a special meeting Saturday, 3 p.m. at City Hall where they will consider resolution allocating an additional $3,985,474 to the Warwick Schools budget for FY20.

The resolution also requires the School Department to repay the $4 million it needs to close its FY19 deficit back to the City in $1 million yearly payments.

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If the Council approves additional funding at the special meeting, the Warwick School Committee will then have until July 31 to hold their own special meeting and vote on increasing line items on its priority spending list, including textbooks and sports programs, for the new funding to take effect.

According to the resolution distributed with the public meeting notice posted and distributed Thursday afternoon, the new funding will be sourced through:

  • The fund balance: $1 million;
  • City contingency line item: $1 million
  • Road paving: $1,085,474
  • Legal department: $600,000
  • Fire department overtime: $300,000

A number of conditions are set in the resolution, including:

  • Mutual statements from the Council and School Committee that the additional funding is a full settlement of any and all claims that the School Committee has for additional funding for FY19 and FY20.An unresolved question of
  • A line-item review in comparison to comparable districts, such as Cranston, with a detailed report to the City Council six months before submitting the FY21 budget.
  • A School Committee cost reduction plan delivered to the Council four months prior to submitting its FY21 budget.
  • Warwick School Committee will allow the City Council to participate in the process for both the review and development of a plan of action, “without limitation.”
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[pdf-embedder url=”https://warwickpost.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/PCR-114-19-Supplemental-appropriation-for-Schools-3.pdf” title=”PCR-114-19 Supplemental appropriation for Schools (3)”]

Rob Borkowski
Author: Rob Borkowski

Rob has worked as reporter and editor for several publications, including The Kent County Daily Times and Coventry Courier, before working for Gatehouse in MA then moving home with Patch Media. Now he's publisher and editor of WarwickPost.com. Contact him at editor@warwickpost.com with tips, press releases, advertising inquiries, and concerns.