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North Providence officials surprised by school deficit

January 19, 2011

North Providence school officials have some explaining to do after an audit shows they ran $825,000 in the red last year.

Dick Fossa, Chief of Staff for North Providence Mayor Charles Lombardi, says town officials want to know why they didn’t learn of the shortfall sooner.

“Not that we could have done anything about it but at least we would have known that we were gonna have this issue,” Fossa said. “It came as a surprise because we were assured all along that we were doing fine with the school committee budget.”

Fossa says school committee officials were also surprised by the deficit, which came to light in an annual audit commissioned by the town council.

North Providence will cover the shortfall with a $1.6 million surplus from the municipal budget, but Fossa says town officials had hoped to use those funds to replenish the rainy day fund and make payments on a $10.5 million loan.

School officials have been charged with drafting a plan to make up for the shortfall.

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