Making Education Fit the Budget in Cranston
The scythe has come out in the Cranston school department:
Gifted and talented programs? Gone. Middle school sports? Gone. Music lessons for children who want to play stringed instruments? Gone.
These programs and others are among the casualties in the budget proposed by Schools Supt. M. Richard Scherza for the coming fiscal year, and the picture could get worse.
Looking to make up for projected cuts in state aid, Scherza has proposed a 2009-10 budget that would raise spending less than 1 percent in the year that begins July 1.
To hold to that figure, he has eliminated a number of programs not required by law, regulation or contract, creating a list of casualties that also includes a summer reading program for elementary students, and hockey and girls cross-country at Cranston High School East.
That’s in addition to cutting positions — five technical assistants, a social worker, an elementary guidance counselor, a special-education administrator — and reducing spending in a number of areas, including library books, supplies and transportation.
With that in the news, I thought I’d add Cranston to my series of charts illustrating per-student spending trends in a number of Rhode Island municipalities: