Continuing to Invest in Our Children Through School Construction
I grew up in the Ocean State. And as a life-long Rhode Islander, I’m a proud product of its public school system. The education I received here has afforded me some incredible opportunities. As father to a two-year old girl, I hope that my daughter is not only offered those same opportunities, but more. That’s why I will strive for the best in education — both for my child and for yours — as your next General Treasurer.
When I was Mayor of Central Falls, I worked tirelessly to revitalize public schools that had remained unchanged since I attended some years before. To me, it was always a question of common sense: our students learn best when they feel comfortable, when they have access to modernized learning facilities, and most importantly when they feel safe. Education is simply a fundamental right.
Guaranteeing this fundamental right for students across our state — whether they live in a rural, suburban or urban community — is crucial to our future as a state. But to fulfill this obligation, we must invest in our students today.
Over the past few years, the Treasurer’s Office has made much progress. Through advocating for school construction bonds and funding in the state’s budget, the Treasurer has been able to help rebuild or modernize schools in East Providence, Johnston, Portsmouth, my home city of Central Falls, and many other communities. The Fiscal Year 2023 Budget, passed by the General Assembly earlier this week, includes $300 million in funding for school construction, including a $250 million bond proposal that Rhode Islanders will have the opportunity to vote on in November. This funding will go a far way to ensuring every school district in our state sees meaningful improvements in their facilities.
We must constantly strive to better the education experience of our students. Though the state’s most recent budget ensures the forward progress continues in the short term, there is still much to be done. There are still communities that are in want of modern, comfortable, and safe school buildings.
As your next General Treasurer, I will pursue creative avenues to continue to finance school construction so this momentum is unimpeded. This is a once in a lifetime investment. And the longer we wait to refurbish and modernize our school system, the higher these costs will be tomorrow. We must continue to act decisively, and always keep the needs of our students at the top of the priority list. Most pressing, this means authorizing the $250 million bond proposal on the ballot in November. To ensure its passage, I pledge to actively campaign in support of this proposal as I speak with Rhode Islanders around the state. Together, we can make this happen for our children, and our teachers.