House Oversight Committee to discuss state of Providence schools

Carl G. Lauro Elementary School in Providence. (WLNE)

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) — Rhode Island’s House Oversight Committee is holding a meeting Thursday to discuss the state of Providence schools.

During this meeting, a presentation by Education Commissioner Angélica Infante-Green will provide the committee with an update.

The Providence Public School District has been in the headlines since this weekend, following an announcement that three schools will be closing as part of a $500 million to plan to rebuild the city’s schools.

“The two buildings are over 222 years old combined and are consistently rated among the worst facilities in the city. It is estimated that it would cost $95 million to just make these two buildings safe, warm, and dry. Further, over the last decade enrollment has dropped by 40% at Broad Street and almost 50% at Lauro,” read a Tuesday joint release from the Department of Education and Providence schools.

The Providence Teachers Union was critical over the lack of transparency about the process.

Maribeth Calabro, president of the Providence Teachers Union, said she was blindsided by the news — alongside parents, students and other teachers.

“I just find this whole thing absurd,” Calabro told ABC 6 News Tuesday. “When did this come about and how long did you have these conversations?”

Dozens of parents and teachers voiced their concerns and frustrations about this announcement at Wednesday’s Providence School Board meeting.

The meeting is scheduled for 4 p.m. at the State House.

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