A MESSAGE FROM MAYOR MCKEE REGARDING PHASE-IN ON
UNDERFUNDED CITIES & TOWNS
It has long been my position that our students
have been shortchanged by a flawed state funding
policy. I worked to change the funding formula
so that it would be fair and equitable to all
communities. Currently the plan is to phase in
the new funding over a seven year time frame
which would result in more than $12 million in
lost revenue to the Town of Cumberland over the
next three years.
are struggling cannot afford to subsidize
property taxes in other communities and I don’t
think our taxpayers should have to wait seven
years to be fully funded.
Our Representatives and Senators have indicated
that they support the acceleration of the school
funding formula. Please give them a call to
encourage their colleagues to do the same.
Your State Rep. and Senators]
Fiscal Impact of School Funding Phase-In on Underfunded
Cities and Towns
Today, for the sixth time I have taken an oath to be your Mayor.
an honor and a privilege that I will never take lightly.
to thank everyone that I work with including the members of the town
council and school committee for their dedicated service to our town. I
would also like to thank Attorney General Kilmartin and Congressman
Cicilline for speaking and I would like to give a shout out to the
Mayors and the State Representatives and Senators who are here today.
It is an honor to serve with all of you.
to take the time to thank our former police chief Tony Silva and our
current police chief John Desmarais for their leadership. I and our
town have been blessed to have them as our public safety leaders during
the last 16 years. Our town and our children have and continue to be in
over the United States small groups gather as we have today to celebrate
this imperfect perfect journey of Democracy which began with the
declaration that all men are created equal and was formalized with the
ratification of our Magna Carta the US Constitution.
Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia in 1787 Ben Franklin noted the
painting of a sun on back of President Washington’s chair. Franklin
told his fellow representatives that until the Constitution was signed
that he questioned whether the sun was rising or setting.
in Rhode Island, here in Cumberland many of our citizens are asking the
same question. Are we a rising or setting sun?
Cumberland and Rhode Island as a rising sun.
friends, our future is bright when we keep right in sight.
with anybody who stands right, stand with him while he is right and part
with him when he goes wrong.” These are the words of Abraham Lincoln
and they can be applied today in Cumberland and Rhode Island.
stand with anybody who stands right on the important issues that we face
in Cumberland and Rhode Island. Let us stand with those who want to
address our unfunded liabilities in our police retirement system. Stand
with those who support one fire district through a town wide election.
Stand with those who are ready to transform our public schools.
Island policy has a major impact on the quality of life in our town.
Stand with those who are prepared to accelerate the school funding
formula and equitably distribute the vehicle phase out funds and school
housing aid. The phase in of the school funding formula is
shortchanging four out of five students in Rhode Island, five thousand
of those students call Cumberland home. It is time to finish the job
and fully accelerate the school funding formula. It is right for our
students and it is right for our taxpayers.
great glory of American Democracy is the right to protest for right.”
These words were spoken by Martin Luther King during the bus boycott in
Montgomery in the 1950’s. My friends, our sun will rise when we stand
with those who stand right.
grew up I saw my dad and his friends build a Boys Club in town. My dad
cared deeply about giving young people the opportunity to succeed. I
share my dad’s passion and believe that a great education will provide
our kids with the opportunity for success.
Mayor I studied the data which shows that the strength of our economy
will follow in the footsteps of the strength of our schools. That is
the reason that I have made education an important part of my
administration’s focus. We have all made a great investment to
transform all our public schools. I look forward to stand right with
our students, parents, teachers, administrators, Mayors and state
leaders to transform our economy through our public schools.
we witnessed an example of our very best when we listened to Cumberland
High Schools CLEF singers perform the National Anthem and when we
watched the Blackstone Valley Prep Mayoral Academy students sing and
play “twinkle, twinkle little star” on their violins. Each student’s
success wherever they sit strengthens our community. Our schools are a
rising not a setting sun.
bold determination and courageous impatience we will see our sun rise
here in Cumberland and here in Rhode Island.
town’s, our state’s and our nation’s imperfect perfect journey in the
pursuit of freedom and unlimited opportunity continues. It is an honor
and a privilege to play a small role in that journey.
you all for being here today. As I leave the podium I want to thank you
and the people of Cumberland for the opportunity you have given me to
serve as your Mayor. May God bless you and our town with freedom,
health and prosperity.