Central Falls schools

John Bender / RIPR

Central Falls Mayor James Diossa will run unopposed for re-election in November, and he leads a city that still bears scars from its closely watched municipal bankruptcy.

The group Leadership Rhode Island stepped in after the bankruptcy and tried to convince Central Falls residents to get more engaged politically.

Rhode Island Public Radio's Elisabeth Harrison asked Leadership Rhode Island’s Executive Director Mike Ritz for some analysis of the upcoming mayoral race.

John Bender / RIPR

Students across Rhode Island are returning to school this week, but a new report suggests that some of them are not well served. The Latino Policy Institute at Roger Williams University finds Latino students in the state’s urban schools are as much as three grades behind their white peers. The institute is releasing its findings today, and Director Ana Cano-Morales is here to talk more about them.

The Central Falls High School chess team will be on their way to the National Championships thanks in part to Alec Baldwin.

The team used the online crowd-funding website “go fund me” to raise the $8,000 needed to send eleven students to Nashville Tennessee, where the championships will be held in April.

They were about $2,000 short when Baldwin stepped in.

The Championships will not be new territory for the team says Frank DelBonis, a teacher at Central Falls and chess team coach.

File / RIPR

Central Falls schools are in for a major facelift thanks to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Central Falls is one of 16 cities across the country to receive generous grants from the Microsoft mogul.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has made a $10 million grant to the Central Falls District-Charter Collaboration Compact. That’s a coalition of Central Falls public schools and five nearby charter schools.  The money will be used to upgrade and build schools. Central Falls superintendent Fran Gallo says the funds will be put to good use.