The Education Blog

The Education Blog is written by Elisabeth Harrison, Education Reporter and Morning Edition Host for Rhode Island Public Radio. Harrison’s work ranges from reporting on institutions like Brown University and the University of Rhode Island to efforts to reform low performing public schools in Central Falls and Providence.

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The Education Blog
5:06 pm
Thu February 12, 2015

Roof Collapses At Brown Sports Center

A portion of the roof at Brown University's Pizzitola Sports Center has collapsed under the weight of heavy snow.

The roof was made out of fabric, and the collapse affected the tennis facility at the complex.

Brown officials say no one was injured in the collapse, which happened in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

According to Brown, this is the second time the Pizzitola roof has given way under snow. The first time was in 2011.

The company that designed and installed the new roof is looking into the problem.

The Education Blog
11:20 am
Thu February 12, 2015

PC Student Released From Hospital After Treatment For Meningitis

Credit Elisabeth Harrison

The first Providence College student diagnosed with bacterial meningitis has been released from a Boston-area hospital. Rhode Island Public Radio's Elisabeth Harrison has details.

A spokesman from PC could not provide information about whether the student suffered lasting effects from meningitis, which attacks tissue around the brain and spinal cord.

Meningitis can have serious long-term consequences, including brain damage.

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The Education Blog
5:06 pm
Mon February 9, 2015

Snow Could Push School Year Into Late June

Some school children in Rhode Island may find the school year extending almost into July because of all the snowy weather.

According to the Rhode Island Association of School Committees, districts across the state have taken at least six snow days so far, and some have taken more.

School officials are looking for ways to extend the school year to meet a state requirement for 180 days in the school year.

The prospect of extending classes into late June presents a dilemma for school committees.

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Higher Education
8:42 am
Mon February 9, 2015

Brown Hikes Tuition, Faces Continuing Operating Deficits

Brown University has raised tuition for the coming school year by 4.4 percent. A year of undergraduate tuition and fees at Brown will now top $62,000.

The Brown Corporation made the decision at its annual winter meeting over the weekend. The corporation also approved an 8 percent increase in financial aid spending to help offset the tuition increase.

Brown's 2016 budget includes a $4.4 million dollar operating deficit, which will be covered by university reserves. This is the third year in a row that Brown has operated with a deficit.

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The Education Blog
1:45 pm
Fri February 6, 2015

Providence College May Have 2nd Case Of Meningitis

Health officials say they have identified a second Providence College student who may have bacterial meningitis. The health department says the student is receiving treatment at a local hospital.

On Monday, health officials reported the first confirmed case of meningitis in a PC student. The student was reported to be improving at a Boston-area hospital.

Providence College officials have extended the hours at the campus health center, and say they are interviewing students who might have been exposed to the infection.

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The Education Blog
12:46 pm
Thu February 5, 2015

Raimondo Shakes Up Education Board

Governor Gina Raimondo has nominated new leadership for the State Board of Education. The governor has announced several new nominees, including her pick for a new chair: Barbara Cottam.

Cottam, the Executive Vice President for Citizens Financial Group, was a founding member of Kids Count RI. She also served as press secretary under former Governor Bruce Sundlun. Cottam will replace current board chair Eva-Marie Mancuso. Her appointment must be confirmed by the State Senate.

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The Education Blog
9:08 am
Thu February 5, 2015

Lawmakers Consider Narcan In Schools

The House Committee on Health, Education and Welfare took up a bill Wednesday to require schools to stock the anti-overdose drug naloxone.

Commonly referred to as Narcan, naloxone can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose. 

The drug been hailed as a crucial tool in the fight against what health officials have termed an epidemic of opioid overdose deaths.

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The Education Blog
11:07 am
Wed February 4, 2015

Bill Would Double Tax Deduction For College Savings

A new bill introduced by East Providence Representative Helio Melo would double the state income tax deduction allowed for college savings accounts.

The bill would increase the maximum deduction from $500 to $1,000 for individuals, and up to $2,000 for couples filing jointly.

Melo, the former chair of the House Finance Committee, said he's hoping the added incentive will encourage families to set aside more money for college.

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The Education Blog
8:29 am
Tue February 3, 2015

Rhode Island Education Commissioner Gist Going To Tulsa

Credit Elisabeth Harrison

Rhode Island Education Commissioner Deborah Gist has gotten the votes to become Tulsa's superintendent of schools.

In a statement, Gist said it was a difficult decision, but she welcomed the opportunity to lead an urban school district.

She also noted that Tulsa is where her family lives.

"I know that Rhode Islanders can certainly recognize the attraction we have to our hometowns, and it would be a special honor for me to lead the district where I attended public school throughout my childhood," Gist wrote.

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The Education Blog
8:27 am
Tue February 3, 2015

PC Student 'Improving' With Treatment For Meningitis

Providence College
Credit Providence College

A Providence College student is receiving treatment at a Boston-area hospital after being diagnosed with meningitis.

Providence College officials say they have been working with the state health department since the diagnosis. Several students who might have been exposed to the infection have been given antibiotics as a precaution.

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