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Happy Monday and welcome to Rhode Map, your daily guide to everything happening in the Ocean State. I'm Dan McGowan and I say Eminem’s performance was the highlight of the Oscars. Follow me on Twitter @DanMcGowan or send tips to Dan.McGowan@globe.com.
When Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza delivers his State of the City address tonight, chances are his speech will be similar to the one that every city leader has given for the last 30 years.
He’ll highlight running his fourth straight budget surplus, investments in public parks and the record levels of economic development happening downtown. And when it’s time to talk about the takeover of Providence schools, he’ll likely call it an unprecedented partnership between the state and the city to finally improve outcomes for thousands of students.
But if he’s looking for an idea that will turn some heads, he might want to revisit the speech then-Mayor Buddy Cianci gave in 1992. That was the year Cianci aggressively called on state lawmakers to equitably fund public schools, and threatened to sue if they didn’t get it done.
East Greenwich was his main target because a lawmaker there called it “unfair” for the state to fund Providence at the expense of other towns, according to the State of the City address that year.
Cianci noted that East Greenwich was spending $1,200 more per student than Providence despite the city having a large population of immigrant families who were learning a new language and a new culture. He suggested that wealthier residents in the state weren’t paying their fair share.
And then the rogue populist offered this zinger:
“So let’s have no more crocodile tears from the country club set,” Cianci said. “It’s about time that the wealthy communities make their wealthy residents pay for their exclusive schools. It’s about time that the state of Rhode Island recognize where its responsibilities lie, and distribute aid only to the communities that truly need it.”
Of course, a lot has changed in the last 28 years, and it’s probably not the classiest move to attack other municipalities.
Rhode Island has made significant improvements to education funding and Providence now spends more per student than East Greenwich. But the challenges that urban districts face have only gotten worse.
NEED TO KNOW
Rhode Map wants to hear from you. If you've got a scoop or a link to an interesting news story in Rhode Island, e-mail us at RInews@globe.com.
- This week's edition of Ocean State Innovators is with Sandy Chen, founder and CEO of Graphene Composites. Have an idea for someone Ed Fitzpatrick should talk to for his weekly Q&A? Email him at email@example.com.
- Where does Rhode Island’s congressional delegation stand on changing the Electoral College? I asked them in my weekly roundup of what they’re doing in Washington, D.C. and here at home.
- The Globe’s editorial board takes a stand on cities and towns that are becoming “gun sanctuaries.”
- The Hill reports Governor Gina Raimondo made the case to elect Michael Bloomberg to a group of Democratic governors over the weekend.
- Did you miss the Oscars? Here are the nine most interesting moments from the show.
- Winner: For best pie in Rhode Island, Wilma’s in Little Compton received the most votes. I can’t wait to try it.
WHAT'S ON TAP TODAY
Each day, Rhode Map offers a cheat sheet breaking down what's happening in Rhode Island. Have an idea? E-mail us at RInews@globe.com.
- Mayor Elorza will give his State of the City address tonight at City Hall.
- With lots of veterans issues in the news, a special commission meets at the State House this morning.
- WPRO’s Tara Granahan is teasing a big political announcement on her radio show this morning.
- The Central Falls City Council meets tonight to discuss how it mistakenly voted to increase taxes by more than double the state limit.
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