Proposed FY20 Budget emphasizes community connectivity, increases support for children and families, and provides critical investments in early learning, neighborhoods and capital infrastructure
Tuesday, April 30, 2019
PROVIDENCE, RI – Mayor Jorge O. Elorza today in the Providence City Council Chambers before a crowd of City and State, elected and appointed officials, as well as business, non-profit, community and education leaders, proposed a $772,614,135 budget for Fiscal Year 2020 (FY20) for the City of Providence that supports the progress the City has achieved during Mayor Elorza’s first term and sets bold goals for the future of the capital city.
In his fifth budget address, Mayor Elorza emphasizes the importance of investing in quality early education and student health programs as well as strategic initiatives designed to expand summer and year-round learning and paid employment opportunities. The proposed budget moves to improve access to in-school and afterschool programs and supports while continuing critical investments in capital infrastructure and school facilities.
“My administration has set a new course for responsible growth in the capital city by maintaining the progress we have made over the last four years while expanding investments in our most critical resource – our people,” said Mayor Elorza. “By investing in crucial supports for our most vulnerable residents, we are promoting equity and inclusion throughout our communities.”
FY20 will also become the fifth straight year that the City will meet 100% of its pension obligation payments. During his address, Mayor Elorza proposed $70 million worth of capital improvements citywide over the next two years to improve connectivity and walkability between Providence’s 25 neighborhoods. As part of the budget, the City will contribute $3,784,500 towards its Rainy-Day Fund following a $3,612,000 contribution in FY19.
Mayor Elorza emphasized the need to increase resources for what he considers to be the best investment Providence can make for its future – our youth. Over the last four years, Mayor Elorza has invested in a network of cradle-to-career supports designed to put Providence youth on a path to achieve middle class by middle age. To further this goal, the FY20 budget proposes $750,000 in investments for early learning and development through an expansion of pre-kindergarten classrooms to ensure that our youth enter school ready to succeed. The FY20 budget also provides increased City investments in PVDTalks, a nationally-recognized early intervention program that is the only of its kind in the country proven to increase childhood literacy at a city-wide scale.
“We are ALL IN for education and the investments we have made over the past four years reflects our commitment to putting Providence youth on a path to achieve middle class by middle age,” said Mayor Elorza. “By expanding pre-k learning and access to early intervention programs we are ensuring that our littlest learners have access to the education they deserve early on.”
The City’s contribution to the Providence Public School District (PPSD) will increase by $1.5 million following an increased allocation of $3.5 million in 2016. Prior to 2016, the City had not increased its allocation to public schools in seven years. As a result of the City’s efforts to close the digital divide by providing students with greater access to technology, the school department has realized a 1-to-1 ratio between wireless-enabled devices and students throughout all Providence Public Schools and the FY20 budget includes continued investments to maintain that technology. In addition, $20,000 is allocated for a new comprehensive plan for students’ physical health-related activities and $50,000 is dedicated for the installation of washing machines in schools to combat chronic student absenteeism.
- An increase of $1.5 million ($5 million increase over the last three years) in the allocation to Providence Public Schools
- Proposes $750,000 in investments for an expansion of pre-kindergarten classrooms
- Maintained investment in Middle School Culture Coordinators and Menstrual Hygiene Product program
- Maintains an allocation of $1.18 million for summer learning opportunities
- Provides $20,000 for the creation of a comprehensive plan for physical health-related activities and operations in the school district
- Provides $50,000 in funding to pilot creative solutions aimed at mitigating student chronic absenteeism
The FY20 budget proposes $1.2 million in funding for the One Providence for Youth: Summer Jobs and Internships program through which youth gain valuable real-life work experiences with private and non-profit employers that complement the learning that occurs in the classroom. Summer employment opportunities have tripled since Mayor Elorza took office and the FY20 budget provides $200,000 in increased funding to further expand the number of robust and engaging summer youth employment opportunities citywide.
“This budget proposes increased funding to our school department, the second time in three years,” added Elorza. “So that we can continue investments in school culture coordinators, professional development, technology, and multi-language learners.”
Considering that students spend most of their waking hours outside of schools, Mayor Elorza has recommended increasing the City’s contribution to the Providence After School Alliance (PASA), whose mission is to expand and improve quality after-school, summer, and other expanded learning opportunities, by $74,750 (27%) following an increase of $25,000 (10%) last year. The FY20 budget also increases funding for the PVD Young Makers program by $25,000 for a total of $275,000 to further increase youth access to maker spaces through a partnership with Providence Libraries. Nearly 1,000 students completed summer learning programs in 2018, numbers that the City plans to maintain through level investments in FY20.
- Increases allocation for the One Providence for Youth: Summer Jobs and Internships program by $200,000 to $1.2 million
- Proposes $1.18 million allocations for citywide Summer Learning programming
- $74,750 (27%) increase to Providence After School Alliance (PASA)
- Increases allocation for the PVD Young Makers program by $25,000 to total $275,000
Mayor Elorza recognizes that when residents feel safe, healthy, and engaged, they can thrive and take pride in their own community. The FY20 budget maintains $200,000 in funding to support critical community resources for underserved communities such as Amos House’s “A Hand Up” program, which provides support to individuals experiencing homelessness. To ensure that every resident has access to affordable and accessible homes, the budget has dedicated $75,000 to develop a long-term housing plan to combat displacement and ensure housing options for constituents.
“Providence offers a unique quality of life and space that make the creative capital one of the top mid-sized cities in the country,” said Mayor Elorza. “The FY20 budget supports our inclusive and thriving communities by uplifting our creative economy and increasing connectivity, person-to-person, citywide.”
To ensure high-quality city services for all, the FY20 budget provides $50,0000 in funding to hire an Innovation Strategy Manager to improve service delivery, product predictability and build greater capacity within Public Safety and PPSD. Lastly, the budget provides an increase of $45,000 for a total of $395,000 to be set aside for PVD Fest, Providence’s signature arts festival that attracted over 100,000 spectators last year, in addition to other downtown arts programming.
- Maintains $200,000 investment in support of Amos House’s ‘A hand Up’ program
- Allocates $75,000 in funding to hire an Affordable Housing Coordinator
- Provides $50,000 in funding to hire an Innovation Strategy Manager
- Designates $20,000 for a pilot program to make doula services more readily available
- Allocates $395,000 for PVDFest, Providence’ signature arts festival, and other downtown arts programming