Block Island Times

School Committee seeks to restore funding, programs

The New Shoreham School Committee moved closer to a decision on its 2020-2021 school year budget on Tuesday night, but has not committed to a final set of budget cuts, nor to a specific percentage increase for the overall school budget that it must forward to the Town Council.
The scenarios discussed on Feb. 4, however, would restore funding for a second administrator to replace co-principal John Canole, who recently submitted his resignation, and funds for library books, instructional supplies, travel for cultural activities, and the Boston and Close Up trips for the junior and senior classes.
At the end of the 85-minute meeting, School Committee Chair William Padien directed Supt. Michael Convery and School Finance Director Melanie Reeves to rework their recommendations and come to the next meeting on Feb. 10 with two plans that would set the overall school budget increase at 3.9 percent or 4.6 percent.
The difference in the total budget comes down to strategy: How much of an increase in school funding will the Town Council approve in what both Padien and Town Finance Director Amy Land have called a “tight” year?

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