Sen. Pearson urges support of Cumberland school construction bond referendum
STATE HOUSE — The Cumberland Town Council passed a resolution to support an $83 million bond referendum for school construction last night. Sen. Ryan W. Pearson (D-Dist. 19, Cumberland, Lincoln) issued the following statement:
“Fixing our schools across the state has been a priority of mine for several years, since I chaired a Senate task force that recommended the actions we are now taking to address a lack of investment for decades that shortchanged our students and teachers.
“With the legislature on the verge of approving an aggressive $1 billion plan to repair or replace schools all across the state, I am excited that Cumberland will be a first mover and leader ensuring modern school facilities. This truly is a unique one-time opportunity given new state incentives that I have fought for to save Cumberland taxpayers money while ensuring our facilities are the best they can be.
“With these new state incentives, Cumberland’s $83 million investment will be covered up to 65 percent by the state, meaning the local obligation would only be $29 million. It is imperative for Cumberland to move quickly to secure this funding, saving $16.6 million versus the cost without the additional state incentives.
“I want to thank our local leaders, especially school committee finance chair Paul DiModica and town council finance chair Lisa Beaulieu, for quickly leading their respective bodies to this point. They each recognized the importance of moving quickly, not only to ensure the $16 million savings to taxpayers, but also to as quickly as possible provide better learning environments for our students. In addition, they also identified that prolonging this work ultimately would cost the town more, given escalating costs of construction.
“It is a proud day for Cumberland when our leaders can come together behind a bold plan that saves taxpayers money, improves our school facilities and truly positions Cumberland strongly in its quest to become a ‘Top 5’ district. These investments will yield improved performance for students and rising home values contingent with a strong school system.
“I ask Cumberland voters to support this work in November by voting yes for both the statewide and the local Cumberland school construction bond questions.”
For more information, contact:
Daniel Trafford, Publicist
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903