The Providence City Council is expected to vote on the new city budget tonight. The $376 million proposal includes an increase in spending for the city’s schools.
If passed, the increase will be the first in seven years. The budget proposes a hike of $3.6 will bring Providence City spending on schools to more than $120 million.
That may sound like a drop in the bucket, but it comes as state spending on city schools is set to flat line, and federal money has fallen significantly in the last several years.
Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza says this initial increase will help the city make the case for more state dollars.
“It puts us in a much better position as we’re advocating in following years at the statehouse,” Elorza explained. “We have a leg to stand on. We’re making these investments because it’s a priority to us, and it makes our argument that much stronger, when we’re asking the state to make additional investments.”
The state is set to provide more than $200 million in support to Providence Public Schools this year.
Note: Rhode Island Public Radio’s John Bender visits DelSesto Middle School to see how additional funding could be used by Providence schools.