WOONSOCKET â€“ The Woonsocket Teachers Guild has issued a statement criticizing State Rep. Lisa Baldelli-Hunt's handling of the supplemental tax increase issue.
The teachers union described Baldelli-Hunt's â€śwaffling positionâ€ť on the tax increase as resulting in the measure being sent back to committee.
The statement issued by the Guild maintained that while â€śthere has been much debate over whether this supplemental tax increase is the best solution for Woonsocket, right now the schools have no other current alternative to fund operations.â€ť
The Guild maintained that the state needed to step up and fund schools properly.
â€śAbsent state support, the City must step in to provide the funding or the state representatives should be working on an alternative plan,â€ť the statement said.
Woonsocket Teachers Guild President Jeffrey Partington pointed to the issue as political maneuvering that could hurt city children.
â€śThe obvious use of this crisis to make or break political careers by using schoolchildren as pawns rather than come up with a workable solution is unforgivable,â€ť Partington said.
He asked what alternative the city's representatives would propose in place of the supplemental tax.
â€śI understand, it is painful for the taxpayers,â€ť Partington offered. â€śBut if not this, then what?â€ť.
â€śIf Representative Baldelli-Hunt cannot vote for the plan, then can we have an alternate plan?â€ť he added. â€śFinding out whodunit is nice, but even after we have identified the guilty, we still need a plan. Leaders lead in a time of crisis; politicians look to blame someone else.â€ť
The statement concluded by saying it urges Woonsocketâ€™s representatives to either support the supplemental tax increase as part of the solution or participate in the creation of a workable plan to fund Woonsocket Schools.
Mayor Leo T. Fontaine has said the appointment of a budget commission appears to be imminent, and might even happen before the City Council meets tonight at 7 to consider a formal resolution asking for one.