By Elisabeth Harrison
Providence, R.I. – A growing number of Rhode Island politicians are calling for Governor Don Carcieri not to use federal school funding to balance the state budget.
Opposition has been swift and vocal to a plan to re-direct roughly $33 million from public schools to help plug a hole in the state Medicaid budget. Congress approved the funding to save and create teacher jobs. Governor Carcieri says the state needs to balance its budget.
"The state did a budget assuming $104 million coming from the federal government and it was on the basis of that budget that we allocated all that aid to the local school districts so I think it's entirely consistent," Carcieri says.
Democrats including Gubernatorial Candidate Frank Caprio, incumbent U.S. Representative Jim Langevin, and Providence Mayoral candidate Angel Taveras have joined teachers union leaders and state Education Commissioner Deborah Gist in criticizing the Republican Governor's plan.