City leaders ‘extend olive branch’ to find additional funding for Warwick schools

West Bay

WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — City leaders in Warwick are breathing a sigh of relief Thursday night after the school committee voted to officially accept additional funding from the city – allowing them to bring back a number of programs initially on the chopping block.

The Warwick City Council agreed to provide the school committee with an additional $4 million Wednesday.

Back in June, the Warwick School Committee approved a list of recommended cuts to make up for an $8 million deficit in the city’s budget.

The additional money from city council will allow the Warwick School Committee to fund 17 of its prioritized items.

“We extended an olive branch and they did as well,” Warwick School Committee Chairwoman Karen Bachus said. “We worked it out as a team because we are one city.”

Despite the additional funding, Bachus said the school committee is still working with approximately $4 million less than what they initially asked for.

“We don’t have all the money in the world, and there are things that we can’t restore at this time, and we’re going to have to make do,” Bachus said.

At Wednesday night’s city council meeting, President Steve Merolla told Eyewitness News the additional funding was made possible by shuffling funding around in the city’s budget.

Bachus said the school committee is still working to come up with more funding.

On Wednesday, Mayor Joseph Solomon said he is pleased with the supplemental appropriation and sees it working out financially for the city.

Eyewitness News reached out to Solomon Thursday asking where the additional funding specifically came from but has yet to hear back.

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