Goodwin applauds decision to ask Superintendent to resign, will submit bills to reform oversight of Providence schools
STATE HOUSE, Providence – Senate Majority Whip Maryellen Goodwin, the Chairwoman of the Providence delegation to the Senate, today applauded the decision to ask for the resignation of Providence Schools Superintendent Harrison Peters.
“My Providence colleagues and I asked for the oversight hearing into this matter because we were horrified by news reports,” said Senator Goodwin. “The oversight hearing was deeply troubling. Our first responsibility to students is to ensure their safety and well-being. Superintendent Peters decision-making was woefully inadequate in that regard. I believe it would be appropriate for him to resign.”
Senator Goodwin also announced that she is developing a pair of bills aimed at advancing educational reforms in the district.
“Looking at the bigger picture, we need to ensure that every student in Providence is receiving a quality education. We need the turnaround of Providence schools to succeed; but we also need the state’s intervention to conclude at some point,” she said.
Senator Goodwin will be submitting legislation to require that any state takeover conclude after two school years. The legislation would be prospective, effective with the 2021-2022 school year. In effect, the bill would require the state to conclude its intervention in Providence after the 2022-2023 school year.
“The state has been involved in Providence for two years already. We need meaningful progress, and we need it now, for the sake of the students. I recognize it is a monumental challenge that takes time, but it is a disservice to every student attending a Providence school to not bring this intervention to a positive conclusion within a reasonable timeframe,” said Senator Goodwin.
She will also be submitting legislation to require that any city with four-year election cycles, such as Providence, also have elected school boards.
“One thing is very clear: the way we have been doing business does not work. We need elected school committee officials who are accountable by the voters, not just the mayor,” she said
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