NARRAGANSETT—The school committee addressed on Wednesday evening a recent Superior Court action made by the Narragansett School System, along with five other state school districts, in objecting the payment of tuition fees to the Rhode Island School of the Deaf.
Narragansett School System, Smithfield Public Schools, Coventry Public Schools, Bristol Warren Regional School District, North Kingstown Public School District, and Warwick Public School District, have all been named in a June 3 order to State Treasurer Gina Raimondo from Commissioner of Education, Deborah Gist. The order directs Raimondo and her office to withhold state aid from these school systems until they pay the tuition which the Department of Education deems they owe to the RI School of the Deaf.
Narragansett School System would potentially owe $20,967.39, leaving an operational budget of 62,210.61 for the 2011-12 budget year. All of the school systems, however, have filed a Rhode Island Supreme Court injunction against Commissioner Gist’s office objecting to payment of past costs which they feel should not be charged.
“We don’t have any students at the school of deaf anymore, so we are talking about past dollars,” said Narragansett Superintendent of Schools Katherine Sipala. “We are going to take the risk because it is not a huge amount of state aid, but this is a very important principle and we will see this case through.”
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