“It’s For the Children”: Legitimate Plea or Nice Window Dressing?

On Friday, Andrew highlighted a letter to the editor laying out some of the issues that has prompted the June 9 Referendum, at which the town will decide whether to cut the school fund property tax appropriation (not the entire school budget) by 2.7%.
This sign, urging a “no” vote on the cut, has popped up in some locations around town. It incorporates a theme that A.R. readers may be familiar with.

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Below, however, are the budget cuts which Superintendent Robert Hicks has recommended to the School Committee should the referendum pass.

Custodial Supervision: $80,000
2 Teaching Assistants: $60,000
HVAC Technician: $50,000
Middle School athletics: $60,000
Grade 7/8 math position (stimulus): $75,000
P accounts (texts, supplies, materials): $100,000
Ed Programs (CARES, FCE, Smile): $50,000
1.0 Elementary Band: $75,000
0.5 Elementary Strings: $40,000
1.0 Middle School Guidance: $75,000
2.0 HS (Language, Art, FCS, Tech-Ed): $150,000
2.0 Support (Psych, OT, SLP, PT, SW): $150,000
Technology: $110,000
Maintenance Supplies: $40,000
0.6 K-5 Art, Library, Music reductions: $60,000
Undesignated Fund Maximization: $125,000
TOTAL: $1,300,000

And an excerpt from the memo explaining the rationale.

However, at this stage I compile a list not of what we should reduce, but what we can reduce. We still need to operate our classrooms, heat our buildings, and remain safe. We still need to uphold laws and regulations and honor our contractual obligations.

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Jon
Jon
12 years ago

Are you saying that those cuts would not have an impact on the education of the kids of South Kingstown?

Jon
Jon
12 years ago

FYI, for those interested in the SK referendum: there is a public forum at Peace Dale Elementary School tomorrow, June 2 at 7pm. Town Councilor Jim O’Neill will debate School Committee Chair Tony Mega. I assume the public will be allowed to speak and/or ask questions.

Scott Bill Hirst
Scott Bill Hirst
12 years ago

Hi!
Only the school committee has the power of line items in the school budget. Only the bottom line can be controlled by the Town Council and the voters. The school committee has the authority to move line items in a school budget already adopted as they see fit. The question needs to be is how often are line items foolwed after the budgets for schools have been adopted?
In Chariho, the town councils have no real authority to approve the school budgets like single member school districys like South Kingstown. Even then the SK Town Council cannot make the SK School Committee to follow line items in the adopted school budget.
Regards,
Scott Bill Hirst

Carmino
Carmino
12 years ago

Can the school committee revise some work rules to accommodate some of the proposed cuts,or is the labor side of the budget not flexible.

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