Times are tough for schools. The funding of our schools, and the reducing of quality in education, is something that nearly every school district in the nation is facing. While there is a perennial tension between schools wanting more and local budgets being loathe to give to them, things have gotten significantly tighter in Rhode Island and in other areas of the country. One reason why things are tighter in Rhode Island is that the state legislature passed a bill this past summer mandating that no school district could increase its budget by more than 5.25 percent.
Mike Traficante, our current School Committee Chair, has a long history of involvement with schools and school funding. He started his career as a teacher, coach, and assistant high school principal, and eventually moved on to become Mayor of Cranston, a position which he held for an astonishing 14 years.
On Wednesday morning, I’ll be sitting down with Chairman Traficante to discuss the circumstances of our local education funding crisis. I’m planning to digitally record the interview and use a cool website called Evoca to upload the interview to the internet for public listening.