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Superintendent Proposes $144 Million Budget

The budget calls for an increase of $6.3 million, or 4.62 percent, over last year.

Cranston Public Schools Superintendent Judith Lundsten last night presented a $143.9 million budget for fiscal 2015 — an increase of $6.3 million, or 4.62 percent over last year's budget.

Of the additional $6.3 million sought by the superintendent, $3.16 million would come from a larger appropriation from the city. The rest is reflected in additional state aid promised to the school district.

The increases would cover higher costs for salaries, benefits, out of district tuitions for special education and charter schools and "only has a small number of new requests," Lundsten told the School Committee during her budget presentation Monday night. 

The new requests are for $200,000 to "begin to address safety needs for each of the buildings," Lundsten said, and $500,000 to begin the district's task of replacing its aging school bus fleet. The current fleet of 48 large and 42 small school buses needs replacement.

$2.5 million of the increase would go to salaries, mostly contractually based increases. It also would cover staff returning from unpaid leave, costs associated with two new positions the superintendent is proposing and "potential district-wide compensation."

Benefits costs are going up due to a 3 percent increase in Blue Cross and Delta Dental rates and pension costs are going up about $1.15 million for increased contributions.

Of the extra money the district is asking from the city, all of it is to cover "expenditure increases of utilities and tuitions only," the superintendent said. "All other expenditure increases are being accommodated for through other revenue means."

Both the superintendent's budget presentation and the proposed budget are available at the Cranston Public Schools' Web site. (They are also attached to this article; look for the "download .PDF" link.)

The School Committee will now begin combing through the budget and three work sessions are scheduled for public discussion. The first is Thursday, Jan. 30 at 7 p.m. at Western Hills Middle School. The others are on Feb. 10 and Feb. 13, both at the same time and place as the first.

We'll be going through the budget in more detail in the coming days.

Bob January 28, 2014 at 08:31 AM
Lundsten ...Get a clue.....work within that budget you have...like the rest of us have to....period......You will not be getting anymore tax dollars from me...period !!!!!! You people are just clueless
Becca January 29, 2014 at 06:24 AM
She spends the $$$ like it's hers! Bus drivers aides get full bene's when they only work PT they should be PT with NO bene's! Most come form other citys towns to reep our bene's. Tired of it! Private sector cuts back Cranston schools need to as well!
Steven r January 29, 2014 at 07:25 AM
Greedy unions and teachers
Steven r January 30, 2014 at 07:31 AM
If you keep voting for incumbent school committee members, this is what you get. Frank Lombardi cost you $150,000 for that silly prayer banner, a few years ago, and he still got in, again.
Becca February 10, 2014 at 06:23 AM
I agree Steven they spend $$$ like it's theirs yet he won a seat at the state house lmao ALL of them all political jobs looking to grow into top positions!

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