Bill for oversight, accountability for Providence schools takeover heads to McKee’s desk

Providence Public Schools building. (WLNE)

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) — A bill that would provide measures of oversight and accountability for the state’s takeover of the Providence Public School District is now headed to Gov. Dan McKee’s desk.

Lawmakers approved the legislation last week, and said “preventable errors the state committed” has “impeded the education of the children of Providence.”

The bill is sponsored by Sen. Samuel Zurier and Rep. Rebecca Kislak.

The takeover comes following a report by Johns Hopkins that called the Providence school district one of the worst in the country. Also, after the firing of Olayinka Alege, a school administrator, who’s charged with assault for allegedly “popping” students’ toes.

The bill requires Commissioner Angélica Infante-Green to update the Rhode Island Department of Education’s turnaround plan for the Providence Public School District by Sept. 1.

The new plan will include measurable annual performance goals, authorize the Providence School Board with duties to review, provide public input on district performance, and turnaround implementation.

“Ultimately, we all want to know that our kids are getting the schools they need, and we all want to ensure that the turnaround plan is successful. This legislation is a step in the right direction,” said Kislak, whose children attend Providence public schools.

The Providence School Board will be required to meet monthly during the takeover. It will also be required that the commissioner evaluate the superintendent’s performance to determine if the district is meeting the turnaround plan.

The states takeover would be limited to no more than five years, ending in October 2024.

Categories: News, Rhode Island