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Schools vote to rehire 350 teachers

May 5, 2012

WOONSOCKET – The school committee voted to rehire 350 teachers for the coming school year Thursday, but will wait until May 11 to begin consideration of the budget covering Fiscal 2013.
School Committee Chairwoman Anita McGuire-Forcier said the panel's 4-0 vote to rehire teachers who were given notices of possible layoff for the coming school year was only the first of what are likely to be many committee votes on the budget in the coming weeks. School Committeewoman Eleanor Nadeau did not attend due to illness, Forcier said.
The school department had issued notices to all of its 600-member teaching staff, including members such as the 350 rehired Thursday, who would be needed to staff classes regardless of any significant budget reductions.
“There will be a lot of special meetings this month,” Forcier said.
School Superintendent Giovanna Donoyan submitted information on the status of the department's current budget during the meeting in the Hamlet Middle School but was still working on the final draft of the 2013 budget, Forcier said.
Donoyan, who has been working on the figures with the help of the finance staff of the Rhode Island Department of Education, retired school business manager Dina Dutremble and representatives of the Bacon & Edge auditing firm, indicated the draft budget will be ready for school committee consideration on May 11, Forcier said.
“We were promised it,” she said, noting that she now plans to set up a meeting with the City Council to review the proposed budget prior to a School Committee vote on the package.
The meeting could be held either Friday, May 11 or Saturday, May 12, depending on the schedules of City Council members, Forcier said.
The committee took no action on the elementary school restructuring options submitted by Donoyan at its last meeting but Forcier said it appears the committee may be facing a potential budget increase equal to the department's $10 million shortfall over the past two years.
The school department was given a $59 million budget for 2011-12 but is now expected to have overspent that sum by $7.3 million, a deficit compounding last year's school deficit of $2.7 million.
Forcier said the School Committee will not be able to begin a review of potential cost-saving steps until it has a complete budget proposal.
“We are going to go over every line item in the budget before we approve it,” she said.


school budget

May 6, 2012 by lmw1971 (not verified), 3 years 12 weeks ago
Comment: 1260

In response to the OP who complained that Woonsocket teachers get a "free ride" on health insurance: I would urge you to do your homework before spouting off the anti- teacher rhetoric. Woonsocket teachers have ALL been paying 20% of their coverage costs for at least the past two years, and it certainly is more than $75 a week for the family plan. The plan also has a high deductible and high copays. It barely resembles the plans of teachers in more monied (read: all other) communities in RI.


May 6, 2012 by Frank (not verified), 3 years 12 weeks ago
Comment: 1258

Sorry Debbie, but you don't have your facts! Teachers DO pay into their health insurance and they voluntarily raised their deductables years ago. They also took pay cuts, gave deferments back to the city, and took pay freezes for years. They HAVE given back to their city and the children of this city. It's a shame that you did not do your research before you wrote your scathing comment.

school budget

May 5, 2012 by debbieb (not verified), 3 years 12 weeks ago
Comment: 1257

Once again, the TAXPAYERS have to eek by and barely make ends meet so the city council and mayor can act like they are doing all they can for the city. Wise up, the teachers should have to pay for their medical like every other person who actually works 40 or more hours a week - paying $75 per week or more for medical insurance if they have a family! This would save the community so much money, the budget would balance out. This is why working taxpaying people are leaving Woonsocket in droves. Teachers and other city workers shouldn't get a free ride just because they work for the city or government. They should all pay their own medical insurance that is equal to what the hardworking average person pays weekly. They should have their deductibles increased like the rest of us also. I worked in the school dept for years and I loved the "free ride" I was getting until I got into the "real world" and had to pay my own medical and deductibles for health care and retirement.
Look at the facts: Children are graduating from high school who can't even read enough to fill out an application. Now, the school depts want to put a 60 as a passing grade!!!!! They are doing this so no one will see how horribly these same teachers are doing in the system, and because of the union - they get away with this because there is no accountably for their actions. This country has fallen too far behind in academics and many other things. Teachers need to actually teach the children. No more movies, computer generated classes and games instead of books - we need to get this country back on its feet, beginning with TEACHING CHILDREN, not letting them barely get by...... Enough is enough.


May 7, 2012 by woonteacher (not verified), 3 years 12 weeks ago
Comment: 1262

It amazes me how little people know. Teachers do pay a deductible and their medical. They do NOT get a free ride, check your facts!! Teachers have been paying their medical for over 15 years and the budget is still not balanced!

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