WARWICK, R.I. — The Warwick School Committee meets Tuesday at 5:15 p.m. to consider an updated school lunch payment policy, adding a $20,000 summer school program and possibly reducing its pension contribution by $799,000, altering the district’s requested $8.5 million budget increase.
The potential adjustments to the budget come in light of last week’s release of Mayor Joseph J. Solomon’s $322,881,043 FY20 budget, which only grants $508,499 of the Schools’ $8.5 million requested increase. School Committee members entered this year’s budget hearings intending to cut at least $3 million from Superintendent Phil Thornton’s $174,433,413 school budget proposal, but wound up shuffling spending to save 6.5 math interventionists at $539,000, 10 teacher assistants at $500,000 and mentor funding at $100,000.
“We started this by saying that we needed to cut the budget by $3 million or $4 million,” said Committee member David Testa at the final April budget hearing.
Should the City Council decline to add to Solomon’s increase to the district’s budget, the School Committee will need to cut another $7,991,501 from their budget, twice what Testa reported as their original cutting goal going into the budget hearings.
The pension contribution reduction and the added summer school program would leave the board with about $7, 192,501 to cut from their budget. The School Committee will make their case with the Council on either May 29 or May 30, according to a memo from School Executive Director of Finance & Operations Anthony Ferrucci.
In other business Tuesday, the Committee will also consider a pre-payment school lunch policy, eliminating credit purchases of school lunches and reducing school lunch debt, which would be managed by school principals in conferences with parents owing money on lunches.
“The Warwick Public School District and the Food Service Vendor encourage parents and guardians to prepay meals for their children thereby eliminating situations that could develop during lunchtime over money owed,” the policy reads.
A full agenda and supporting meeting documents for Tuesday is attached below:Warwick School Committee May 21 2019