Participatory Budgeting in Central Falls School District

2019 marked the first year of PB in Central Falls.  Through the process, students at CFHS got to democratically allocate* $10,000 to improve their school, through a semester-long elective class.  Now, the Central Falls School District is expanding PB, to engage all students and parents in the District to decide how to allocate COVID-19 relief funds to prepare for a successful 2021-22 school year. The process is called VOCES CON PODER (Voices with Power). 

We will begin by reaching out to the entire community to collect ideas for projects.  Then student and parent Delegates will shape these ideas into viable proposals that will benefit our school community.  The proposals will ultimately be voted on by the parents and students in the District. The project(s) that receive the most votes will then be implemented in the schools. This process gives our community real power over real money to fund real projects for our schools!

Voces con Poder

Dear CFSD Families,

With our District-Wide goals of Equity, Empowerment, and Excellence always at the forefront of everything we do, we can think of no better process than participatory budgeting to engage our community in the funding decisions that will shape the way we return to school this fall. Through participatory budgeting,  students and parents will flip the traditional top-down approach of budgeting and instead amplify the voices of our community.  Participatory budgeting is more than just voting on how money is being spent. It's about empowering our community to voice their needs, learn about policy, and hold the government accountable to the community it serves.  It is with great anticipation that we turn direct decision-making power over to our most valuable community members - our students and parents! 

In collaboration,

Dr. Stephanie Downey Toledo, Superintendents of Schools Stephanie Gonzalez, Board of Trustees Chairwoman

To learn about the Voces con Poder (Participatory Budgeting)process:

Voces Con Poder(PB)-Central Falls School District Rulebook - Summer 2021

Voces Con Poder (Presupuesto Participativo)- Verano 2021

Proposed Projects by Parents and Students

On August 14, 2021, 146 parents and students from the CFSD voted for their favorite project.

Winning project: Extra-Curricular Programs.

***Voting took place at Calcutt Middle School.

Would you like to participate in future sessions?

Please contact Patricia Martinez, Chief of Empowerment and Equity at 401-727-7700, extension 2012, or by email: