Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze Woonsocket North Smithfield 06-04-2020

The Valley Breeze Newspapers serving the Northern Rhode Island towns of Cumberland, Lincoln, Woonsocket, Smithfield, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, North Providence, Scituate, Foster, and Glocester

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NORTH SMITHFIELD BLACKSTONE WOONSOCKET EDITION | VALLEY BREEZE | JUNE 4-10, 2020 NORTH SMITHFIELD 19 tion and a $290,569 increase in state aid. The request represented a 4 percent increase in the town's current contribution. Since then, the Budget Committee and Town Administrator Gary Ezovski have lowered the town's por- tion to an increase of $445,630, or 2.2 percent, in their budget recommenda- tion to the Town Council. For many school districts, however, the state's contribution has become an equal worrying piece of the budget dilemna. With state officials now projecting an $800 million budget deficit over the next year, school districts statewide have begun planning for significant cuts to their expected state aid. Layoffs are not the only mea- sures school officials are planning in response to potential cuts. St. Jean said the department has also con- sidered paring back some student programs in response to the budget needs. "We're talking about eliminating some pretty major things. Some of the things that we've identified will be detrimental to students. Again, there's just no room," he said. At the same time schools are facing uncertainty over funding, many are also trying to determine the cost of measures that would allow students to return to in-person learning in the fall. Last Wednesday, St. Jean and mem- bers of the North Smithfield School Committee briefly discussed how students would get to school while adhering to social distancing. One of the ideas that have been floated, said St. Jean, is to have students sit one per seat and only use every other seat on district school buses. "There aren't physically enough buses or money to be able to afford buses to function with that kind of rid- ership," he said. Speaking to The Breeze, St. Jean also noted that layoffs could affect class sizes, which in turn could complicate efforts to social distance in classrooms. School Committee members voted unanimously to approve the layoffs, though several expressed their reluc- tance and commented on the demor- alizing effect on the district. The Town Council will consider the 2020-2021 budget during a meeting next Monday, June 8. LAYOFFS From Page One See Our Class Schedule Online at: 1280 Oaklawn Avenue Cranston, RI 02920 401-463-8824 sewing machine center Sales & Service Since 1950 Bernina • Babylock • Elna • Janome • Necchi • Juki Factory Trained Service Technicians provide on site repair for all makes & models 401-333-3393 10 Old Diamond Hill Road Cumberland, RI 02864 Celebrating great lives and great living! It's our passion to care for your loved ones with integrity and respect, while helping them feel right at home. Enjoy hearing all of life's moments... Not just the quiet time. 6 Blackstone Valley Place, Bldg. 3, Ste. 307, Lincoln, RI Rachel A. Baboian, Au. D. Doctor of Audiology Licensed Audiologist At Hear For You Hearing and Balance Center we strive for excellence in customer care. Our services include: • Diagnostic Hearing tests ages 6 months & up • Hearing Aid Evaluations • Hearing Aid Sales & Repairs Call today to schedule your appointment & ask about our Interest Free Financing! 401-475-6116

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