Governor says some Providence schools may close or merge
By: Brittany Comak
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) - Could some Providence public school buildings be getting the ax?
With the state takeover of Providence Schools looming, Governor Gina Raimondo gave a little insight into what may be coming while being interviewed on a podcast on Friday.
"There are probably some schools that have to be merged or closed," she said. "They're just so far gone physically..."
The remarks startled the Providence Teachers Union President Maribeth Calabro, who says she was unaware this was a possibility.
"I would think that if this was in consideration or in the works that we would've been made privy to it," said Calabro. "So, like I said I'm a little unnerved."
Calabro says she immediately began receiving frantic texts from teachers over the weekend about what schools could be closing.
"I'm a little disturbed by it because were at 103 or 105 percent capacity in the district. Most of our schools are full," explained Calabro. "Where are we putting these students and teachers?
City Council President Sabina Matos said Tuesday that it may be more cost effective to build new buildings, but that people should remain open to all options, including mergers.
"In reality, some of our buildings are so far gone already," said Matos. "So there's some of them we probably may not be able to save."
In statements Tuesday, spokespeople for the governor and the education department both said it's too early to say, but these issues will be addressed in the takeover plan once a permanent superintendent is appointed.
"I don't think it's anything concrete," said Matos. "I don't think as of right now, we're able to say, 'This building or that building.' We're not there yet."
Both Calabro and Council President Matos said they are expecting to see that full takeover plan in the next couple of weeks.
"Adding more students and faculty, and wear and tear on the building, I don't think is going to help fix the system that's broken," said Calabro.