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Providence mayor yells at governor over teachers’ contract

July 29, 2021 GMT

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza had to be held back from Gov. Dan McKee during a disagreement over a proposed contract for the city’s public school teachers.

During a ceremonial lighting of the WaterFire basins along the Providence River to mark the return of the city arts festival on Wednesday, Elorza was seen on video pointing his finger at McKee and yelling, “You’ve got to face the community on this.”

Elorza was held back by a member of McKee’s state police security detail. Both men are Democrats.

Elorza confirmed after the event he was trying to discuss the teachers contract. He wants the contract made public before the teachers’ union votes on it Friday so the community can have input.

The state has taken control of the city’s underperforming schools.

“If you believe it’s a transformational contract, stand before the community and tell them why you believe it’s transformational,” Elorza said. “But simply hiding and doing it in secret and wanting to wrap this up before facing the community, that’s not the way that this is supposed to be done.”

McKee declined to comment.