WARWICK, RI — The School Committee voted 4 to 1 Tuesday to send out layoff notices to four teachers in the district following a brief executive session at Warwick Veterans Memorial School.
Chairwoman Judy Cobden, Vice-Chair David Testa, Nathan Cornell, and Kyle Adams were all ‘yes’ votes. Karen Bachus was the lone ‘no’ vote.
Teacher layoffs was the only item on the agenda. Testa declined to comment on the vote.
“We have kids who need help and we’re letting special education and English teachers go,” Bachus said.”It’s concerning.”
The School Committee voted to approve the proposed 2023 Warwick Schools budget on April 28. Bachus was the lone ‘no vote on that as well.
The district had been requesting a $5.8 million increase over the 2022 Warwick Schools budget. The total was $179.5 million but the committee made reductions.
At that meeting, Testa made a proposal to restore building staff, which adds up to a total of $440,000. His proposal was approved.
Bachus had expressed her dismay about teaching positions which had been eliminated at the earlier meeting.
“I don’t think we can afford to cut any of them,” she said. “Every student who graduates from Warwick Public Schools should be literate. We’re cutting muscle and bone.”
Warwick Teachers Union President Darlene Netcoh said many of the high school classes were overcrowded and pointed out the cuts for foreign language teachers.
“There’s a cut to physical education,” Netcoh continued. “We need more physical education.”
Bachus made a motion to restore two English teaching positions at Pilgrim High School April 28 The motion failed.
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