PROVIDENCE, RI (January 16, 2020)…At tonight’s City Council Meeting,
Councilman David A. Salvatore (Ward 14) proposed a resolution requesting
monthly reports from the City’s Department of Public Property and Mayor Jorge
Elorza’s administration detailing public school repair expenditures. This
resolution was co-sponsored by the full Council.
In November of 2018, Providence residents voted in favor of a $250
million Statewide School Construction Bond and a $160 million local bond.
Providence stands to make meaningful capital improvements that will
improve the quality of the City's school buildings over the next five years
with the help of these new funding sources.
“Nearly a year ago, the City Council approved Mayor Elorza’s
proposal to bond up to $20,000,000 for improving the health and safety of the
City’s public schools,” stated Councilman David A. Salvatore. “Yet this past
summer the release of the Johns Hopkins Report shined a spotlight on our
failing school system and the deplorable state of our public schools. It
demonstrated in black-and-white just how in disrepair our City schools are, and
left residents and local leaders alike at a loss for how this funding was being
Councilman Salvatore continued, “Our constituents deserve to have
a transparent and efficient mechanism to see where the City is spending these
bond dollars, and where they are on making repairs to our public schools. With
an abundance of funding available, it is unacceptable that repair processes
throughout the City have been slow and unclear - our children deserve better.”
There is no question that drastic changes need to be made to the
infrastructure of Providence’s public school system. From brown water in water
fountains - to asbestos in elementary school hallways, these funds must be
used efficiently and appropriately.
City Council President Sabina Matos stated, “Although the state
has taken over Providence Public Schools, we still have a responsibility to
understand and to be able to clearly articulate to our residents how the City
is spending their hard-earned tax dollars in regards to these major school
infrastructure projects. We owe it to our students and teachers to ensure that
their schools are receiving the funds they need to maintain safe and healthy
learning environments, and without any way of knowing what work has been done,
or is in the process of being done, or being planned - we are failing our
families yet again.”
Councilman Salvatore and his co-sponsors believe there must be
transparency and accountability in the spending process around the repairs and
upgrades that are being made to our city schools. The Council is requesting
monthly reports from the Administration and the Department of Public Property.
They also are requesting that the City create and maintain a website through
which parents, students, and residents can track the progress of various school
For more information, visit us on the web at council.providenceri.org.