The much ballyhooed mini-Stimulus passed in August to help avoid teacher layoffs already was in trouble because many school districts were sitting on the money rather than hiring teachers.
Now the Republican Governor of Rhode Island, Donald Carcieri, has gone one step further, using the funds to plug a budget gap, as reported by The Providence Journal:
A new law aimed at saving millions of teaching jobs and protecting school programs across the country may not accomplish either goal here in Rhode Island.
Instead, Governor Carcieri intends to use the $32.9 million Rhode Island is eligible to receive to plug an estimated $38-million deficit in this year’s budget.
His plan drew a strong protest from Education Commissioner Deborah A. Gist, Congressman James R. Langevin and representatives of teachers unions and the state’s school committees.
Don’t think Carcieri is doing this just as a money grab. Carcieri has fought a valiant, and somewhat futile, multi-year battle to reign in state union contracts and pensions in the face of a Democratic legislature not only favorable to the unions, but actually comprised of many union members and state pensioners.
So, Carcieri basically is saying, thanks for the money the Democrats intended for unionized teachers, but we’ll use to help everyone by solving a general budget problem.
In RI, Public Sector Unions Are The State
High Taxes And Union Pensions Are Killing Rhode Island. Duh!