This letter was submitted to state representatives by Chrissy Rossi, a school committee member.
Dear Representative Helio Melo, Representative Bob DaSilva, Representative Jack Savage, Senator Frank DeVall Jr. and Senator Daniel Da Ponte,
I am writing to you on behalf of the children of East Providence who are about to lose their Middle School Sports Programs.
The Budget Commission has line item cut Middle School Sports right out of our budget. Not only does this decision contradict Chapter 16-2-9 of the General Laws of The State of RI but, it will directly and adversely impact over 400 children in the City of East Providence.
For a great many of these children, their participation in athletics is the only reason they keep their grades up. They work hard to achieve good grades so that they can maintain their spot on the school team.
The cost for Middle Schools Sports is only $106K. It is barely a fraction of one percent of the City’s total budget. It certainly is not going to be the savior of our financial problems. These children did not create the problem yet; they are the ones losing out. I do not feel that it is prudent to try to balance the budget at their expense.
Last week, over 200 people showed up at City Hall to show their support for Middle School Sports. Parents, Children, City Leaders and State Representatives all came together to try to prevent this tragic result. This group is growing in numbers by the day and will rally again on Tuesday night at the City Council Meeting. They will also be attending the next Budget Commission Meeting on Thursday. I am asking for your support to help save the Middle School Sports Programs for our City. Please advocate for us at the State level and let Rosemary Booth Gallogly and Michael O’Keefe know that you too support our young athletes.
I would also ask that you please introduce legislation in this session that will add Middle School Sports to the Basic Education Plan so that these programs will never have to be in jeopardy again. They mean so much to so many children in our community and enhance the total student experience.
East Providence School Committee Member