Raimondo, Fung spar over schools

Governor Gina Raimondo stands outside Cranston High School East while criticizing Mayor Allan Fung’s “inaction” on school construction. Photo by Tessa Roy, WPRO News.

By Tessa Roy, WPRO News

Governor Gina Raimondo, standing in front of Cranston High School East, criticized her GOP challenger Mayor Allan Fung’s management of Cranston school buildings and asked why he wouldn’t support her school construction bond.

“One of the questions I have for the mayor is why not? Why haven’t you prioritized rebuilding schools and making sure that teachers and kids are in facilities that are warm, safe and dry?” she said.

Raimondo said Fung had neglected schools, saying flooding at Cranston East was a consequence of his “inaction.” She said Fung was not one of the mayors who came forward with a plan to fix schools.

Raimondo changed her previous claim that toilets had exploded off the walls during the flood, saying instead that a urinal pipe had burst. However, she maintained Fung had not done enough about the situation.

“The point is, I came away pretty shocked and concerned that there were kids potentially, or teachers, using a facility and pipes were bursting,” she said.

Fung campaign spokesperson Andrew Augustus responded, raising issues with the construction bond and saying Raimondo and her administration have displayed “gross incompetence incompetence in managing virtually every aspect of Rhode Island’s government.”

“Mayor Fung, like many members of the legislature, has raised legitimate and very real concerns with the implementation of this program including questions about making sure all of Rhode Island’s schools would benefit from it and her exclusion of the maintenance fund. Which the legislature — not Governor Raimondo — included,” Augustus said. “Mayor Fung is proud of the progress and success Cranston’s schools have had over the past several years and he looks forward to working with the legislature, school boards, administrators, parents, and teachers to deliver better results — and a better return — on our investment in children’s education.”

Raimondo also noted she was aware of massive roof leaks at Providence’s Mount Pleasant High School, news of which surfaced on social media on Wednesday. She said she was reaching out to the school.