From the superindentdent's desk

Posted 1/26/22

By JEANNINE NOTA-MASSE January 2022 With the new calendar year comes the presentation of the budget for the upcoming school year. This nearly 100-page document is presented to the public each January. Pages and pages of line items are divided up by

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From the superindentdent's desk



2022 With the new calendar year comes the presentation of the budget for the upcoming school year. This nearly 100-page document is presented to the public each January. Pages and pages of line items are divided up by school and by department, but many may not realize that due to the requirements of our city’s charter, the work that goes into it begins very early in the current school year. This leads to some uncertainties as we begin making decisions for the upcoming school year without some of the necessary information in front of us such as the number of new positions needed, the full roster of classes being taught at the high school level, or the amount of money being allocated to us from the state. We use preliminary estimates to make some of our decisions, and based on the information we have, we put our heads together and create the new budget.

At all times, our priorities are firm. We continue to keep our students and their education, health and well-being at the forefront of all we do. We strive to provide high quality services to our student population, one that has not seen any significant decrease in number. We also have obligations to our staff, both moral and financial, to provide them with wages and benefits that befit the work they provide for our students and families and to ensure that we are prioritizing their health and well-being as well.

COVID has hit hard and has had a long-lasting effect. Although we have received federal assistance, it is important to remember the purpose of that money and to remember that it is not long-term assistance. Therefore, we were mindful of that when we created our budget for the 2022-23 school year. Preliminary numbers coming from the state level have shown that our state allocation has been decreased by approximately 1.5%, which will put an additional burden on what we are asking for in terms of local financial support.

In looking at the numbers, we adopted an operating budget for the current 2021-22 school year of $170,962, 401. This next year’s proposed budget for 2022-23 is $176,886,269. This is approximately a 3.47% increase and amounts to $5,923,868. This year we are asking for an increase in our local appropriations of $3,521,519, which is an increase of approximately 3.6%.

These requests are not made without careful consideration and without a full review and examination of all departmental staffing, supplies, and necessary expenditures. We have also used a portion of the federal grant money, provided through the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER III) to provide support for our Learning, Equity, and Accelerated Pathways (LEAP) initiatives to address student learning needs created by the pandemic. There are very specific parameters set forth in this grant and we have stayed within those guidelines when using the money for our budget, addressing COVID-related expenses in our budget, as well as operational and staffing needs.

Cranston Public Schools is the second largest school district in the state of Rhode Island and therefore, we have a large population of students, and in turn, a large number of staff. Salaries comprise the majority of our budget. We have seen an increased need in our

Multi Language Learner population and have increased our staffing so that we are in compliance with state regulations and to be sure that we are providing high quality instruction for these students. The needs of all of our students extend far beyond the walls of our classrooms and we have worked hard to address the issues created by the pandemic, supporting the needs of our students and their families in all possible ways.

Although it may be tempting to use money to address budget holes by overspending, by relying on “one-time” infusions of money that are not part of a continuous reliable revenue stream, we are financially responsible, and realize that this would create structural deficits and is not the way to create a sound budget.

We are proud of the budget we have submitted to the city and we are excited for the future of Cranston Public Schools and all that lies ahead, both in the coming school year and beyond. Despite the hold that COVID has had on us, we have exciting plans ahead and we are in the midst of a great deal of positive happenings in our schools.

We look forward to answering any questions about this proposed budget and we look forward to receiving your support for our schools as we move through the budget process over the next couple of months. Sincerely,


Jeannine Nota-Masse


Cranston Public Schools

superintendent, Nota-Masse


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