Block Island Times

Block Island School budget woes

Superintendent Bob Gerardi presented the Block Island School’s budget concerns to the Town Council on Monday night with a mix of “unanticipated” decreases in revenue and “unanticipated” increases in expenses.
Calling it a “challenging budget year,” Gerardi explained that the school was anticipating a $154,000 decrease in state funding. He called it a “71 percent decrease” from what the school received in state aid last year. While emphasizing that the state budget is often fluid up until the last second, and so the numbers could change, Gerardi said the school was preparing for this extraordinary shortfall.Gerardi told the council that every school in Rhode Island, except for Smithfield, had been losing students throughout the pandemic and would thus be losing money. The school has lost 19 students since last year, and when this is calculated into the state’s formula it corresponds to a decrease of $154,000.Gerardi reported that at the onset of the pandemic, Block Island School had gained enrollment as people came to their second homes on the island to escape the mainland. Now, it seems, people are returning to their primary residences on the mainland, according to Gerardi.
While the school did receive an increase in

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