Rhode Island

John Bender / RIPR

Ken Wagner is Governor Gina Raimondo’s nomination for education commissioner. The post has been open since former commissioner Deborah Gist left for a job in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Wagner comes to the Ocean State from the New York state education department.

Wagner got his start in education policy at age 18, when he was elected to a local school board in New York. Since then, his education career includes working as school psychologist and middle school principal. 

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Governor Gina Raimondo has signed an executive order aimed at improving the state’s criminal justice system. The governor has created a panel to review problems in the justice system.

    

The issues the group intends to tackle include racial disparities for prison inmates and other people who come in contact with the justice system. They’ll also look at addiction, mental health, and probation. Rhode Island had the third highest rate of people on probation in the country in 2013.

The PawSox new ownership team kicks off a listening tour, to drum up support and answer residents’ questions about a proposed new stadium.  The group plans to stop in all of Rhode Island’s 39 cities and towns. The first stop is at the Smithfield Senior Center in Greenville at 5 in the evening.

John Bender / RIPR

Rhode Island lawmakers passed legislation requiring more music performance opportunities in public schools. The bill mandates that all public secondary schools offer performing ensembles such as band, chorus or orchestra.

Most public schools in Rhode Island have performance ensembles, but some are offered before or after school and sometimes for no credit.  Advocates say the new mandate is a step towards incorporating these ensembles into standard arts curricula.

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Former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley visits the Ocean State Tuesday for a fundraiser in Jamestown.

The democrat will attend an event billed as a cookout at the home Liz and Michael Perik, an entrepreneur in education technology. Tickets start at $100 per person, and can cost as much as $2,700. The fundraiser starts at 6 p.m.

O’Malley stops in the Ocean State in between stumping in Iowa and nearby New Hampshire, which holds the nation’s first primary.

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