R.I.P. Rep. Paul Crowley

Representative Paul Crowley, D, Newport, has passed away after a battle with cancer. The Governor has ordered that the Rhode Island State flag be flown at half staff. ProJo has more (Matt does, too). :

Veteran Newport lawmaker Paul W. Crowley, a champion for schoolchildren and the city where he was raised, died this morning after a battle with cancer, according to Larry Berman, a spokesman for Speaker William J. Murphy. Crowley was 57.
Crowley’s distinguished public-service record began early, when he was a student at the University of Rhode Island, and ended with his 27-year tenure as a top legislator in the House of Representatives. He was the longest-serving Democrat in the House.
Crowley became the point man on education issues as the legislature took on an increasingly active role in financing — and shaping — the state’s public schools. He championed charter schools, school accountability, improved vocational education and increased aid to poorer school districts years before other politicians caught on.
As Crowley said during his last campaign for the House, in the fall of 2006: “I’ve been the education guy.”

Indeed he was the education guy. I agreed with his stance on several education issues–for instance, charter schools and education reform–but sometimes I disliked his tone even when we did agree. However, I never doubted his passion nor his knowledge concerning the education hurdles facing the state. But that’s just politics. Rep. Crowley was a man who served his community and state the best he could. My thoughts and prayers to his family. RIP.

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