According to a report in the Providence Journal, the city of Cranston “is seriously considering a purchase and redesign of the Park Theatre for use as a community center/performance venue, …
According to a report in the Providence Journal, the city of Cranston “is seriously considering a purchase and redesign of the Park Theatre for use as a community center/performance venue, using Cranston's anticipated $6 million share of the$81.7 million in federal dollars that Gov. Dan McKee has earmarked for communities that sign his ‘Learn365RI Municipal Compact.’”
Today, Robert Lancia - candidate for Cranston City Council, Ward 6 – is speaking out against this proposal. “After carefully reviewing this proposal, it is clearly a bad deal for taxpayers,” Lancia said. “Moreover, it isn’t a panacea for teachers, students, or parents if the city is going to sign up.”
Some public officials, like Mayor Polisena of Johnston, refuse to sign on and are worried about the town’s ability to sustain financial commitments for newly created programs once federal funds dry up.
Additionally, RICAS test scores show that: Cranston ELS scores only show 28.9% meeting expectations, with 48.2 partially meeting expectations and 19.9% not meeting expectations; and Cranston Math scores only show 20.6% meeting expectations, with 54.3% partially meeting expectations and 24% not meeting expectations.
Looking at those numbers, candidate Lancia thinks any money gotten from the state should focus on helping students make up ground lost during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“My firm belief is that major purchases like this provide no quick fix for the local community, taxpayers, and Cranston as a whole,” Lancia said. “More productive uses of the money could include direct and targeted expenses that put students first while not leaving the taxpayer on the hook with long-term projects,” Lancia said.
“Specifically, this would include improved technology in the classroom, well-funded teacher training, and a focus on long-term educational expenses that emphasize positive developmental growth without the worry of constant grades and testing.”