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School construction $$ on hold

May 20, 2011

State legislative leaders have told the Rhode Island Department of Education to stop awarding school construction funds because of the state’s fiscal crisis. The board that oversees elementary and secondary public schools was set to vote on several projects at its next meeting.

A letter dated May 12th and signed by the chairs of both the House and Senate Finance Committees says school officials should hold off on all projects still awaiting their approval.

“In light of the state’s current fiscal condition, we are asking that the Board not act on any of the construction and renovation projects currently under review,” the letter states. “We expect to let you know how the General Assembly will proceed on this issue before the end of the 2011 [legislative] session.”

Projects currently in the pipeline for state approval include renovations and repairs for the Wilbur & McMahon School in Little Compton, the Paul Cuffee Charter School in Providence and Mt. Hope High School in Bristol.

A spokesperson from RIDE says the Board of Regents took no action on the school construction issue at a working meeting this week.

One Comment leave one →
  1. bill eccleston permalink
    May 27, 2011 10:37 am

    So in light of this action, the legislature suspending state aid for school construction, another hand of our government apparently not connected to the brain, the Department of Education and the Board of Regents, is being asked to approve—if Debbie Gist and RI-CAN get their way—the public funding of a massive brand new private school system in Cranston, Mayor Fung’s multi-school, 2000 student Mayoral Academy. Two thousand students is the size of any number of existing Rhode Island school districts, Burrillville’s for example. In this fiscal climate that makes sense? And politically speaking, how in the name of private enterprise and right wing billionaires do we justify this transfer of the taxpayer’s shirt to a private entity’s back? George Caruolo, the new Chairman of the Regents is exactly right: it very much is time to slow down the unthoughtful zealotry of the Hyper-Reformers and put on our thinking caps. We have that responsibility to the taxpayers of the state, and cities of Cranston and Providence. (I would hope that this radio station would do a little footwork of its own on this issue, seeing that you’ve given RI-CAN their day in front of the microphone.)

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