Woonsocket Schools Will Stay Open

Schools in Woonsocket won't be closing early after all, after the school committee unanimously knocked down a proposal on Wednesday, that would've ended the school year in April, instead of June.

Hundreds of teachers and parents crowded into Woonsocket Middle School for the meeting and most were happy with the school committee's decision, to keep the city's schools open.

“They voted on it, I'm glad the kids will be in school, we belong in school, what's going to happen as far as financials, we don't know, but at least we'll be where we need be.” said Woonsocket parent and teacher Michelle Marandola.

School committee chairwoman Anita McGuire-Forcier said that the unpopular proposition to shut the schools down was made only out of desperation, when she feared the school wouldn't be able to pay its bills.

“It was to make the community aware what we are facing, this is not a joke, and this is a bandaide approach. Come June when there's 3-payrolls due, there may not be money to pay their (teachers) paychecks.” said McGuire-Forcier

Many parents, teachers, and even other school committee members felt differently, saying that the proposed measure, felt more like a scare tactic.

“State law says you gotta open the schools, we're gonna open the schools.” said school committee member John Donlon.

Although the measure was stopped, Woonsocket's 10-million dollar deficit problem isn't going away.

And many fear that the school's inability to pay its bills, could lead to other drastic steps, or even another push to shut the school early.

“Unless all these resolutions pass and the state wants to help us, they accelerate the funding formula, unless some miracle happens, then yes.” said McGuire-Forcier.