Pawtucket and Woonsocket schools found to be worst funded

State Senator Ryan Pearson (D-Cumberland) Photo by Steve Klamkin WPRO News

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) – A Rhode Island legislative task force says schools in Woonsocket and Pawtucket are badly underfunded.

WPRI-TV reports that the special Senate task force said Wednesday the two cities are worse off than Providence. State leaders have been focused on Providence schools since a scathing independent report this summer found the district beleaguered with low test scores, crumbling infrastructure and widespread dysfunction.

The task force estimates that per pupil, Woonsocket is underspending by $2,336, compared to $1,507 in Pawtucket and $281 in Providence. All other districts met or exceed the minimum required spending.

Democratic Sen. Ryan Pearson, who leads the task force, says Woonsocket and Pawtucket have the most students learning English.

The Rhode Island School Superintendents Association says many districts are struggling to keep up with rising non-core costs.