Woonsocket School deficit threatens bond rating
Woonsocket may be the next Rhode Island community in state oversight/receivership. A deficit of more than $2 million has been discovered in the school budget, most of which is attributable to teacher hiring, according to Stacy Busby, director of administration and finance for the school department.
After a special meeting last night, the school committee and city council have asked for state help. A meeting has been scheduled for Monday with city officials and state Revenue Director Rosemary Booth Gallogly and state Auditor General Dennis Hoyle.
Thomas Bruce, Woonsocket city finance director, says hew worries that the river of red ink in the school budget threatens to lower Woonsocket’s bond rating, which is already a low “junk bond’’ status. Any further drop in the bond rating could harm the city’s ability to borrow money on the financial markets.
Cash-strapped Central Falls has been in state receivership and state officials are monitoring finances in East Providence, where the city is more than $4 million in arrears to Bradley Hospital for special education services.