Thursday, January 17, 2013
School officials will have to find $500,000 for the next school year.
Another hard year of cuts is ahead for North Kingstown schools, according to Superintendent Phil Auger. On Tuesday night, Auger presented a preliminary look at fiscal 2014’s budget, which starts July 1. According to Auger, the district will need to make roughly $500,000 in cuts to balance the budget. State and federal funding for the upcoming year are both expected to drop, according to figures from Auger and School Business Director Mary King. One of those factors is a drop in enrollment. According to King, North Kingstown schools are expected to cumulatively lose 100 students. Jamestown, which sends its high school students to North Kingstown High School, is also expected to have fewer students coming into NK next year. Fewer students …
Thursday, June 21, 2012
Town Manager Michael Embury pens his first of a series of articles explaining the town budget.
Thursday, June 21, 2012
To the editor, This is the first of several articles to provide readers the facts regarding the fiscal 2012 and recently passed fiscal 2013 budgets. The purpose is to describe what happened in fiscal 2012 and why and what the fiscal 2013 budget means for us all. The first issue is town employee salaries. Over the course of the last four years, salaries have changed as follows (listed by employee group): Police: NOTE: Union agreement to long term structural change moving to two 12 hour shifts versus three 8 hour shifts and 20 percent co-pay for new retirees reduced employee costs by slightly more than $600,000. This was accomplished through negotiation without arbitration. Fire: Local 1033: (Represents…
Friday, May 4, 2012
Following this week's adoption of fiscal 2013 budget, the North Kingstown School Committee will look to make further cuts.
The North Kingstown School Committee will start to put items on the chopping block Tuesday night after the town council's adoption of fiscal 2013's budget will leave them with less funding than last year. Going into the budget process, Superintendent Phil Auger requested a four-percent increase for the school department's budget after two years of level funding. At its adoption of the upcoming budget, the council granted the school department a two-percent increase. "I appreciate the two percent," said Auger. "It's not an easy decision to make and it's a lot to ask for four percent. Obviously I felt very strongly that four percent was warranted. It's going to make things that much tougher to make ends meet in our district." Due to a …
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
School superintendent says the outside review validates how North Kingstown implements the Basic Education Program – and, he reports that this year's possible school budget deficit has turned into a surplus
Only three of the seven members of the North Kingstown School Committee turned up for the scheduled April 10 meeting at North Kingstown High School. Chair Kimberly Page announced that Larry Ceresi and Lynda Avanzato were dealing with medical issues, Bill Mudge was out of town and Melvoid Benson was absent. Lacking a quorum, Page cancelled the meeting and convened a "conversation." The attending members – Page, Richard Welch, John Boscardin and Jamestown representative Julia Held – reviewed the agenda without taking votes and asked questions of the assembled staff for two hours. School Superintendent Phil Auger reported on several issues. He said that he learned April 9 that Town Manager Mike Embury has received an independent review of …
Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Residents, students and others took to the microphone during Monday night's budget hearing.
With another year of property tax hikes on the horizon and possible slashes to school programs, the North Kingstown Town Council and School Committee held their budget hearings Monday night at the high school. The preliminary budget for fiscal 2013 (starting July 1) projects a 3.51 percent increase in property taxes — raising it from $17.26 per thousand to $17.81. For the average priced home in North Kingstown (approximately $333,822), that would result in a $5,942 tax bill. “I can’t afford any more taxes. I’m not rich. I’m not wealthy,” said State Rep. Doreen Costa, who told the town council during public comment that she has a full-time position at WPRO and works at a restaurant on Friday nights, in addition to her duties at the State …
Friday, March 30, 2012
A Superior Court judge has ordered the North Kingstown School Department to curb spending until a project deficit is eliminated.
School spending will continue to be monitored by the town’s finance director following the decision of Judge Brian Stern in Superior Court yesterday. In December, the town filed suit against the North Kingstown School Department when the school committee approved expenditures after the discovery a possible $1.2 million deficit, due in part to an unanticipated revenue shortfall. The town’s finance director warned the committee against spending while projecting a deficit, citing state law. The court found that the town’s argument that, under state law, school spending must be reviewed and authorized by the town's finance director until the projected deficit is eliminated. The school department, however, asserted that the town was responsible…
Monday, March 26, 2012
A North Kingstown High School student voices her and her classmates' concerns over the school department's budget.
Monday, March 26, 2012
To the editor: My name is Kristin O’Connor and I am one voice from a sea of students at North Kingstown High School. In Mr. Avedisian’s first period democracy class, we were asked to study the school budget and make very challenging decisions and cuts. We soon realized how difficult and how much pressure is involved in this process. In our opinion, we feel that no cuts should be made and that the town should be looking for ways to preserve and enhance all programs in the school department. However, we realize that during difficult economic times we must do the unthinkable and begin dismantling our school system. Some of the most important things to a student’s education, besides their classes, are opportunities to participate in …
Wednesday, February 8, 2012
Provisions include reducing, reorganizing and retiring more teachers and other staff, and assumes Town Council will raise school funding by 4 percent
Faced with shrinking revenue and rising costs, the North Kingstown School Committee on Tuesday reduced its original plans and approved a $58,532,487 budget for fiscal year 2013, which begins in July. The budget, prepared by School Superintendent Phil Auger and his staff, assumes North Kingstown will raise local taxes by the maximum legally allowed of 4 percent and will raise its contribution to the school budget by an equal percentage. Auger said that because most of the school budget is governed by contracts and other legal provisions with built-in cost increases, the approved budget nevertheless requires $1.4 million in cuts. Among them: reducing or eliminating some teaching, library, and other staff jobs, including a savings of $431,846…
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Superintendent Phil Auger explained the projections of growing budget shortfalls to a mostly silent school committee at Tuesday's meeting.
When it comes to reducing school expenditures, "I don't see any easy items," reported North Kingstown School Superintendent Phil Auger at the Jan. 10 meeting of the North Kingstown School Committee. The budget work session provided a first look at a draft budget for fiscal year 2013, and included projections for the next five years. Auger spoke for nearly half an hour, explaining the factors that have placed North Kingstown schools in a budget shortfall for this fiscal year and on a path to future deficits next year and beyond. Unless major cuts are made, he said, the 2013 school budget will fall short by $1.6 million – and that's if the Town Council increases funding from local taxes by approximately 4 percent. The town has frozen school …
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
The North Kingstown Town Council approved an audit of the school department and bond legislation for a $6.4-million bond to repair the district's schools.
The North Kingstown Town Council moved quickly in its special meeting Monday night, looking to find a solution to the school department's financial woes. The council unanimously approved a $22,850 contract to independent auditor Nadeau Wadovick LLP of Warwick to analyze the department's finances and find a remedy to the estimated $1.2-million deficit the schools are facing. Last week, both the town and school department were in Washington County Superior Court after news broke that the school may be facing a $1.2-million revenue shortfall. After police officers hand delivered a letter from the town to School Committee members prior to their Tuesday night meeting last week (a letter that, due to the anticipated shortfall, "respectfully …