Mayor and education advocates raise concerns on lack of community engagement for hybrid School Board
Friday, August 5, 2022
PROVIDENCE, RI – Today, Mayor Jorge O. Elorza vetoed City Council Resolution 37640, “Forwarding Ballot Questions to the Secretary of State for placement on the November Ballot”. This resolution outlines 10 recommended changes to the Providence Home Rule Charter, including the recommendation to create a hybrid school board.
In a letter to the members of the Providence City Council, Mayor Elorza focused on his opposition–and the opposition of Providence education leaders, parents, and community members–on the proposed hybrid school board. “First and foremost, there was limited community engagement and this was a decision that was driven by City Council members whom comprised a majority of the committee (5 out of 9 members). There was very limited outreach, such as proactive engagement with education leaders, parents and students, when crafting this proposal. Community members are correct to expect greater outreach and they have raised concerns of this proposal being designed without PPSD parents at the table,” said Mayor Elorza.
While signing his veto, Mayor Elorza was joined in support by Ramona Santos Torres, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Parents Leading for Educational Equity (PLEE); Melissa Hughes, Providence Public School District parent and PLEE Leadership Team Member; Marcela Betancur, Direct of the Latino Policy Institute; Jennifer Wood, Director of the Center for Justice; Peter Chung, Executive Director of Young Voices RI; Mark Santow, Providence School Board Secretary; Diagneris Garcia, Providence School Board Vice-President and Muyideen Ibiyemi, Providence School Board member.
Mayor Elorza’s full letter to the City Council is attached and can be viewed here.