Representative Steven Costantino: Chairman of the Bureaucracy-Is-Beautiful Caucus
Interestingly, Carcieri hoped to spend $19 million more on school aid. But Costantino, looking for savings, wasn’t convinced such an outlay, spread over the various districts, would make much difference in quality.But wait a second. During the budget debate, House Minority Leader Robert Watson (R-East Greenwich/West Greenwich) proposed amending the education funding article to redirect a $6 million increase in spending on state-level education bureaucracy into aid for local districts. Rep. Costantino and the Democrats rejected the Wastson proposal (13 Democrats did join the 13 House Republicans in voting for the amendment; see pages 117-118 of the June 15 House Journal for the amendment and the roll call tally).
So in Rep. Costantino’s mind, $19 million in local education spending — the spending closest to the classroom — is an unimportant luxury, but a $6 million increase for centralized, remote bureaucracy is an untouchable necessity. Could Steven Costantino’s philosophy that bureaucracy-is-beautiful, shared by many Rhode Island legislators, be a part of the reason why we pay so much for so little in terms of education in RI?