April 25, 2007

Budget Crisis in East Providence

Carroll Andrew Morse

Add East Providence to the list of Rhode Island communities with structural finance problems leaving them no longer able to afford their existing school programs. From Alisha A. Pina in today’s Projo

Three of six options proposed by [East Providence] Schools Supt. Jacqueline Forbes two weeks ago included consolidating Martin Middle and Riverside Middle school students into one building, yet none of the options would fully resolve the $2.9-million deficit she projects for the School Department at the end of the next fiscal year....

The savings from the various options range from $26,500 to $948,000, not including the potential revenue from selling or leasing the various school buildings.

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I wonder what their pension liability is. Or how much the unions are paying for their healthcare.

Posted by: Greg at April 25, 2007 12:26 PM

I just got out of the E.P. School Committee meeting, and to refer to it as a joke, would be to do a disservice to the word "joke." The meeting was about and hour and a half, and they solved absolutely nothing.

In a nutshell, they agreed to a token proposal to sell the Administration building "which they think may" sell for around $600,000 (thus leaving a projected deficit of "only" $2.3 million). In the motion to sell that building, they also unanimously stated that they were "opposed to closing any schools". By defualt, by refusing to take any actions, they passed the buck to the E.P. City Council (who will be meeting on May 1st). There were several news stations present, as well as a reporter from the Projo and other local media.

They are making way too many assumptions regarding state funding, overriding the property tax cap, and the potential for success of a possible Caroulo action. They're ostriches with there heads in the teacher's unions rears.

I'm curious as to how many of the people in the audience now thinking that the school budget problem is "fixed." Sadly, we've probably just made the problem worse.

Posted by: Will at April 25, 2007 8:50 PM
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