Whither School Committees?
At Mayor Allan Fung’s town hall meeting last evening on city issues in Cranston, there was much emphasis on the school committee as the area of city government most in need of fixing. You can hear some of the discussion for yourself, by clicking on the links below…
- Cranston City Council President John Lanni gave a short history of city/school committee relations in Cranston, and also suggested regionalization as the answer, because “there’s no money tree out there” that’s going to be the solution to any problems.
- One resident asked what would be involved in ending the separation of school department and city and perhaps eliminating the school committee altogether.
- Another resident (and union leader) suggested that school committees should run on the same principles as fire districts; if they are their own self-contained systems, let them send out their own tax bills.
- And another resident reminded people if they don’t like the job the school committee is doing, accountability can come in the form of voting them out.
- Finally, in an omnibus question covering a number of points, one resident questioned the wisdom of a system that frequently leaves non-school committee city officials in the position of saying we just send the school committee the money but have no say in how it’s spent, and also asking why the legislature isn’t in session right now trying to fix all of this.
- In response to the question immediately above, the Mayor mentioned a number of initiatives, with repealing the Caroulo Act being the top priority, in addition to a few other items including a “funding formula” (deep editorial sigh).