EDlection2018: Rhode Island Voters Approve $250M Bond to Fix State’s Ailing Public Schools
EDlection2018: This is one of several dozen races we’ve analyzed for the 2018 midterms that could go on to influence state or federal education policy. Get the latest headlines delivered straight to your inbox; sign up for The 74 Newsletter.
Rhode Island will be allowed to borrow $250 million to repair its ailing public school buildings after widespread voter approval Tuesday.
Thank you, Rhode Island, for overwhelmingly voting to #FixOurSchools! Let’s get to work!
— Fix Our Schools RI (@FixOurSchoolsRI) November 7, 2018
The bond relief comes as the state stomachs more than $2.2 billion in estimated costs to upgrade deficient facilities. Schools in the Ocean State are on average 56 years old, a 2017 “State of Rhode Island Schoolhouses” report found.
An estimated $627 million is required to bring all schools to a minimal standard of “warm, safe & dry.” Another $250 million bond will go on the ballot in 2022.
“Every child deserves to go to a school that is … equipped for 21st century learning,” General Treasurer Seth Magaziner, who led Gov. Gina Raimondo’s campaign to repair the schools, told the Providence Journal. “Tonight, Rhode Island took a big first step toward a once-in-a-generation investment.”
This is the first statewide bond in 30 years, Magaziner has said.
The Rhode Island Center for Freedom & Prosperity, a free-market think tank, said in a Nov. 2 statement that the measure “bails out irresponsible city/town and school officials” and “lacks any long-term vision.”
? INBOX: Anti-tax group @RICenterFreedom recommends voting NO on *all* ballot measures in Rhode Island, including Question 1, a bond to repair RI’s crumbling schools. ? @NBC10 @NBC10_ITeam pic.twitter.com/jF5h1onjNv
— Katie Davis (@NBC10_Katie) November 2, 2018
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