Parents, students want more of a say in state takeover of Providence schools
By: Brittany Comak
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) - While no city officials objected to the state takeover of Providence schools Wednesday a group of parents and students filed a motion asking that they have a formal role in the takeover.
"We definitely not only request but demand that a robust intervention be made to improve the public schools," said lawyer on behalf of the group Jennifer Wood from the Center for Justice Jennnifer Wood. "However, we're suggesting that you may have left an element out of that."Wood says these students and parents are looking for transparency and inclusion in key decisions, such as who will become the new superintendent.
"The students and parents are going to be most affected by any takeover in the Providence Public Schools," said Wood.
In separate statements Wednesday, Mayor Elorza and Education Commissioner Infante–Green said they fully intend to include the community in the decision making process.
The commissioner echoed those sentiments on the first day of school, as did Governor Gina Raimondo Wednesday.
"There will be multiple opportunities for parents to be engaged and have a say in what the turnaround plan looks like," said Infante-Green Tuesday.
"This is only going to work if we have collaboration with the community, listen to the community," said Governor Raimondo
However in the order to 'show cause' from the commissioner, in which people can come forward with issues they see in the state takeover, it was only addressed to city leaders. The motion argues that parents and students need to have a formal role as well.
"In other places where this has happened without the input and participation of parents and students these efforts often fail," said Wood. "Which would be devastating."
The mayor, interim superintendent, city council, and school board all filed their letters of non-opposition to the takeover today.
However the school board added an addendum which provides a lengthy list of recommendations for the takeover.
Wood says the group of parents and teachers plan to testify at that show cause hearing next Friday.
©WLNE-TV/ABC 6 2019