City Council asks for transparency regarding Providence school closures
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) — The city of Providence urged the Rhode Island Department of Education and the Providence Public School District for transparency at Thursday night’s city council meeting.
Last year, the state announced three schools would be closed as part of a half-billion-dollar plan to rebuild the city’s schools.
Providence City Council members referred a resolution to the committee Thursday night, asking RIDE and the PPSD to release the minutes of all meetings discussing public school closure in the city within 48 hours. This would include dates of meetings, agendas, and lists of attendees.
First Ward Rep. John Goncalves spoke in favor of the motion, saying in part, “We just want to make sure there was family engagement and community involvement in these processes. It is incumbent on us as a body to preserve the transparency on behalf of the city of providence and the students and families we serve.”
The schools involved include the Carl Lauro and Alan Feinstein at Broad Street elementary schools, as well as Gilbert Stuart Middle School, each of which are scheduled to be closed as part of a $500 million investment into Rhode Island schools.
The district is not required to respond to the motion and a representative from RIDE told ABC 6 News in a statement, “Families were made aware that in addition to the building conditions, a variety of other measures were considered, including declining enrollment at the schools, underutilization of the buildings, low selection by families, and lack of green space.”
The first part of this $500 million investment is expected to conclude this year.