School Committee to State: Take Over Woonsocket School System
So they voted just this evening.
Woonsocket school officials have asked the Rhode Island Department of Education to take control of their schools.
In a meeting Wednesday night, the school committee voted 4 to 1 to draft a letter to Commissioner Gist seeking assistance.
The vote comes after the General Assembly failed to pass a supplemental tax bill that would help fill a $10 million budget deficit.
Incompetence and gross mismanagement on the part of the School Committee (though not all current members) have in large part precipitated the city’s likely plunge into receivership. Accordingly, part of me cannot help but wish that the School Comm had taken this vote a good five years ago, especially as this dangerous lack of competence continues to manifest itself even this week in the (in)actions of the Woonsocket school superintendent.
Last week, for example, [Supt. Giovanna] Donoyan said the WED, though already “crucified” by cuts in programs and personnel, could hobble along next year without recalling 42 of the 98 teachers still on layoff.
Yesterday, Donoyan did an about face, saying that all the teachers who were notified of layoffs earlier this year will be needed. But she couldn’t say what they’d be needed for, what schools they’d be assigned to or how much money it was going to cost.
“We can’t seem to get good information,” Commissioner Dina Dutremble, a former business manager for the WED, complained at one point. “We get a lot of stories and analogies. We’re not getting data.”
Such an option might be a non-starter. This morning on the Helen Glover Show, Mayor Fontaine indicated that the Woonsocket School Comm had in the past asked the state to take over their school system and the state’s reception to such a proposal was “cool”.