Rhode Island State of Education focuses in on facility improvements for 2022-2023

EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) — During the annual Rhode Island State of Education, community leaders outlined what they considered to be an uphill climb of a year against COVID-19.

As students head back within schools, the department says they need facility upgrades now more than ever.

Commissioner Angélica Infante-Green was expected to speak at the event, but tested positive for COVID-19 Monday morning.

Victor Capellan, senior advisor to the commissioner, explained that major investments in facilities are the next step for the state, as enrollment took a major hit over the pandemic.

“We’re moving beyond warm, safe and dry, to really innovative spaces that our students can thrive, and that our teachers can really work their magic,” said Capellan.

Capellan said they plan to distribute the last of $250 million bond for school improvements across the state this year. The bond aided the development of East Providence’s new high school that opened this fall.

“Students are really reluctant to come to school to really flourishing and glad to be back,” said Bill Black, principal of East Providence High School. “We have other cities and towns coming to check out the building, looking to send their students to our high school.”

Gov. Dan McKee, who spoke at the event, said that his proposed budget gives another $250 million school bond to school construction in Rhode Island.

RICAS scores in the Ocean State dropped 5%, according to RIDE.

“We know that going back to 2019 is not the goal. The goal for us is to move forward to innovate, to learn some of the hard lessons from the pandemic. But, our goal is that we are going to be moving forward to a better state in education,” Capellan concluded.

Categories: News, Regional News, Rhode Island