Taxpayer Group Attacks Pell Economic and Education Plan - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

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Taxpayer Group Attacks Pell Economic and Education Plan

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by ABC6 Chief Political Reporter Mark Curtis 

mcurtis@abc6.com 

Democrat Clay Pell unveiled his economic plans to polite applause this week. Among his ideas, professional internships for every high school students if elected governor. Now the government watchdog group "RI Taxpayers" is leveling criticism, because Pell's campaign is endorsed by the National Education Association, RI Chapter.

"One of the largest teacher's unions in the state, so we question the campaign and the candidate’s commitment to true innovation and reform to the state's education system," said Monique Chartier, President of RI Taxpayers

Critics say reforms like NECAP testing and charter schools might get dumped in favor of Pell’s internship plan. Pell's says people like his intern idea.

"The teacher's I've spoken with and the parents I've spoken with are excited about this possibility and excited about the possibility that Rhode Island will be the first state on the nation to do it," said Clay Pell, (D) Candidate for RI Governor.

ABC6 Chief Political Reporter Mark Curtis said, "Right now Rhode Island government is spending about eight and a half billion dollars per year, but how that money is divided up, will be a big issue in this campaign."

Pell also wants small business loans for start up companies, places where some of those high school interns may find work.

"Where a student can actually choose what they want to do; work together with a teacher and get it done. That's what teachers want," Pell said.

But critics say a better way to bring new jobs into Rhode Island is to cut corporate tax and sales taxes.

"So that they [new businesses] will come here; so that they will stay here, so that they will employ people, and so that our tax base will be broadened as well,” said Chartier of RI Taxpayers.

It’s clear, Campaign 2014, is now in full–swing. It should be noted that RI Taxpayers as already endorsed Republican candidate Ken Block for Governor.
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