Tiverton and Beyond – Quick ‘N Dirty Background

WPRO’s Matt Allen, in the last hour of his show yesterday, reported that at the Tiverton financial town meeting last week, a woman stood up to urge that the budget cuts be reconsidered, thereby at least tacitly (and perhaps overtly) expressing support for the 11% tax increase proposed by Tiverton’s solons. Her suggestion was not well received by many citizens in attendance. [Public Service Announcement: the Tiverton financial town meeting continues tonight.]
It occurred to me that the woman may either be new to the state or only recently involved in government so may not be aware of some background – background common to most cities and towns as well as the state itself; background, by the way, that often seems missing from Providence Journal reporting (though not editorializing) on such matters, as evidenced in the article from which Justin’s quotes.
To the woman who spoke in support of the 11% tax increase: you are to be applauded for getting involved. In preparation for the continuance tonight of the Tiverton financial town meeting, you might be interested to know:
> Rhode Island is eighth highest in education expenditures yet its schools are performing on the other end of the scale.
> Rhode Islanders pay the fourth highest taxes – much of which goes to fund our schools – yet must contend with all of the disadvantages of the second worst business climate in the country.
> Because of the misguided actions of many of Rhode Island’s elected officials on the state and local level, good teachers are paid the same as mediocre and bad teachers and there is no mechanism for the removal of poorly performing teachers except in extreme cases . (Ed Achorn points out that Representative Nick Gorham is trying to change that.)
You can perhaps see, ma’am, why there is less than universal support for an 11% tax increase in your town.

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