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Unable to Match Grant, Cranston Forced to Decline All-Day K Money

Hopes for the start of all-day kindergarten in Cranston next year have dimmed.

Any excitement for a recent Rhode Island Department of Education $100,000 grant to start all-day kindergarten in Cranston has fizzled out.

The school district will have to decline the grant because the district is unable to put up matching funds — a stipulation that must be met for the grant.

That's what came out of what ended up being a brief and discouraging School Committee meeting last night that would have stung more if not for the fact Cranston Public Schools' have grown accustomed to being under constant fiscal constraint. 

Even with additional state aid, School Committee members Thursday night said there wouldn't be enough money to start with the four classrooms of all-day kindergarten, nor does the district have the resources to maintain the program.

School Committee member Stephanie Culhane said some people feel short changed by RIDE and the "funding was a phase in. [It can't] be done at this time.

"We support all-day K but without funds and commitment by those that hold the money, it can't be done," Culhane said. "It's very sad for our kids."

Cranston got the most money out of the four districts getting funding. The others were Exeter-West Greenwich, getting $45,000; Glocester, getting $33,000; and Woonsocket, which will receive $72,928.

The money was made available through the Full-Day Kindergarten Accessibility Act, a law passed in 2012 by the state legislature.

Miguel January 18, 2014 at 12:10 PM
I'd be interested in seeing what occurs in the other 3 communities, particularly cash-strapped Woonsocket. The fact is that $100,000 dollars is much better than the $0 which was available before RIDE for start-up costs of full-day K. Yet despite that crutch, the City cannot scrap up enough to get a program running? How have 27 other districts managed to offer some form of full-day K, yet RI's soon-to-be second largest city cannot manage to do the same? It sounds to me like the School Comm. thought someone else would foot the bill for something Cranston should have had in-place 10-15 years ago. Cranston's schools are quickly falling further and further behind in prestige and quality it seems.
mcam January 19, 2014 at 09:46 AM
Do you remember when Cranston was considered one of the best School Systems in the state and people moved here because of it?? Well that ship has sailed!!! I guess it is time to move and sell my house before it loses more value. If you do not have a strong School System, then your property values go down and no one wants to move here. How sad, Cranston is where my parents raised their kids and if they ever saw it now they would be disgusted!!!
Chris12 January 19, 2014 at 10:59 AM
macam- WHY is the Cranston school system deteriorating? Why are there lotteries and waiting lists to get into Charter/Private schools across the county. WHY is the whole public school system deteriorating? We have an election in November.
Elizabeth Roy January 19, 2014 at 11:14 AM
Our school system has definitely seriously declined. Between that issue and the abandoned (greedy bank owned) houses, burnt houses, no wonder our property values have declined!

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