Across the country, budget cuts are hitting school districts. Outside Providence, Rhode Island 100 teachers and staff will be fired from Central Falls High School. School Superintendent Frances Gallo cites the “callous disregard” of the union which refused to accept other cost-saving measures presented by the school that would have avoided firings. The union claims the school needs a complete overhaul.
In Woodbridge Township, N.J. Governor Christie’s state school aid cuts have led school officials to announce $10 million in proposed cuts to its $185 million budget. The proposed staff cuts are telling. They include eliminating several positions: two middle school librarians ($173,000), one plumber ($106,000), two social workers ($195,000), and one attendance officer ($70,000). Additionally, the proposed cuts include the closure of two empty school buildings for a savings of $133,957.
The budget belt-tightening prompted the school district to ask voters to call Trenton and ask for more aid to avoid the measures.
Interestingly, Woodbridge Township officials appear to be considering an alternative plan should no aid appear, including seeking private sponsors to fund elementary and middle school sports. Corporate sponsorship is not without precedent in the township: Woodbridge High School’s football team relies on private funds for its website, with excess donations used to help fund the team’s apparel and equipment purchases.