Will North Kingstown Lose Sports, Music Program Next Year?

Schools superintendent will present proposed budget cuts for next year at tonight's school committee meeting.

The North Kingstown School Committee got a glimpse of what the school system might look like next year after . However, those proposed cuts only showed half the picture of the “best case scenario” — i.e. if the North Kingstown Town Council increases the school department’s budget to the maximum amount of four percent. (Click here for the full list of proposed cuts.)

In addition to staff reductions (including the elimination of high school librarians and clerks, reorganization of the athletic director’s position, reduction of two sixth-grade teachers) and supply cuts, Auger recommends the removal of one bus from regular routes (netting $60,000 in savings) and nearly $436,000 in cuts to custodial and cafeteria services, part of the school department’s support staff — the North Kingstown Educational Support Professionals (ESP). According to Auger, these cuts could involve either the outsourcing of custodial and cafeteria services or a series of alternative cuts, pending contract negotiations. Nearly 50 ESP members attended the last School Committee meeting to oppose the proposed outsourcing and cuts to their department.

More programs and positions may be headed to the budget guillotine depending on how much money is raised through taxes. The . If the school department’s revenue receives a 4 percent increase (about $3 million), it will only need to cut $1.6 million. However, with the council level-funding the school department for the past few years, Auger warns that the $1.6 million shortfall could be as much as $3.2 million if the same happens this year.

Auger also offered additional cuts for two other scenarios — one if the school department is level funded and another if it receives half of the maximum amount of tax dollars the town can raise. The former of the two scenarios shows a school department with no sports programs, no after-school programs, deeper cuts to ESP and more.

“I can’t imagine the school district without sports, without music and without the staff I have,” said Auger.

If the school department receives no tax support, Auger said the district may be forced to forego accreditation from the New England Association of Schools and College (NEASC), slated for later this year. Auger said that without athletics, music and extracurricular programs the district might lose during the upcoming budget season, accreditation may be unlikely.

“During a visit year, you’re paying for a whole team to come here and stay for the week,” said Auger, who estimated the visit and subsequent accreditation report would cost the district $30,000.

Auger said he hopes the School Committee will approve his first round of cuts, reflecting a 4 percent increase in tax dollar revenue, to pass on to the Town Council. The other two scenarios, he says, will also go on to the council for informational purposes.

Tonight’s meeting starts at 7 p.m. at

Jane Perry February 26, 2012 at 11:42 PM
Is anyone out there at all concerned about cutting school librarians?
NKRI Transparency February 27, 2012 at 12:54 AM
I'm concerned about most cuts.....I'm more concerned about spending dollars we don't have, and even more concerned about our taxes and those that can not afford increases.
Govstench February 27, 2012 at 03:00 AM
I guess the best way to express what is coming could be labeled as "Priority Government." Public safety would be retained to maintain order and public education would be reduced down to core issues. You will eventually see the pols come around to relax or repeal the mandates from the state house as there will no longer be any money to enforce them. What the picture will look like will depend on the bottom line! Voters will need to eventually give up local control over their municipality and settle for county style government. It will eventually come anyway as police and fire districts are merged to save money. School districts will go the same way - try 5 school districts instead of 35! Imagine only spending money on 5 superintendents instead of 35!! That's almost a 4 million dollar saving!
Govstench February 27, 2012 at 03:00 AM
Where does that school librarian fit into all of this? What is the importance of the position and what priority do you give it. This is how it is done in the private sector and it will be done here. No question the public unions will fight this through their normal boiler plate tactics of delay, compromise, negotiation and finally, court action, but they will not prevail if the community falls under state control. Take this to the bank, 51% of the municipalities satisfy the requirements to be taken over by the new receivership law. This is not empty words but the cold hard facts. Don’t be surprised if a state trooper drops by your town hall and inform them that it is over. The healthy municipalities are the ones with NO DEBTS! Ask them how they got there - how did they do it. They do exist.
NKRI Transparency February 27, 2012 at 06:47 PM
I wonder when people will get it http://www.pbn.com/US-governors-have-few-answers-as-cities-face-bankruptcy-risk,65672


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