Warwick City Council approves school funding increase

West Bay

WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — The Warwick City Council voted unanimously to approve more funding for city schools Monday night after widespread cuts were announced last month.

​What started as a $1.3 million increase to cover the expenses for sports, turned into a $4 million pledge to the Warwick School Committee by the end of the night.

The council added this increase in funding is a short-term fix as the city and school continue to mediate the rest of the budget shortfall.

The council requested the money be spent on a list of 17 priorities.
Sports is at the top of the council’s list.

Member’s on the council and many speakers were quick to point out the council cannot dictate how the School Committee spends its budget.

Eyewitness News spoke Warwick School Committee Chairwoman Karen Bachus who said the committee’s list of priorities is different than councils.

Warwick Council President Steven Merolla said the council and school committee can find common ground.

“We’re both in agreement that this should happen and sports is starting in a few weeks,” said Merolla. “The interscholastic league has to put out schedules, kids have to have coaches. Why are we still in limbo? Enough with holding kids hostage. Here’s the money for that program, say you will spend it for that and let’s move on to the other issues.”

​The School Committee is scheduled to meet Tuesday night to discuss the issue and discuss the next steps to be made.

A closed session meeting starts at 5:30 p.m. with a public session scheduled to begin around 7 p.m. at the Warwick Veterans Middle School Auditorium.

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