Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza wants to convince more college graduates to stay in the capital city. He’s launched a new initiative to reach out to young people.

He said the goal is to make living in Providence desirable to millennials.

“Per capita, we have the largest number of college graduates of any state in the country,” said Elorza. “These are the entrepreneurs, the civic leaders and they’re the employees of the future. So it’s a priority of mine to make sure that we retain them here.”

On a 6 to 3 vote, the Senate Education Committee passed a bill Wednesday restricting the growth of charter schools.

The legislation sponsored by Senator Adam Satchell (D-West Warwick) requires city or town councils in a host community to approve new charter schools. The bill would also keep charter school funding at the current level until the state adopts a new formula for funding charter and traditional public schools.

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

A pair of bills that could make it harder to open more charter schools are again up for committee votes at the Statehouse.

The House bill would place a one-year pause on the creation of new charter schools. After a legislative committee found reasons to re-evaluate the way the state funds public charter schools and public school districts, the bill calls for more time for lawmakers to consider changes.

Governor Gina Raimondo has announced two businessmen to lead the State Council on Elementary and Secondary Education and the State Council on Post-Secondary Education. 

To chair the Council on Elementary and Secondary Education, which oversees public schools, Raimondo picked Daniel McConaghy, an executive vice president at Gilbane Building Company.

McConaghy also serves on the board of trustees for LaSalle Academy, a private, Catholic school that counts Raimondo among its lengthy list of prominent graduates.

With Education Commissioner Deborah Gist posting on Facebook that she has left her her job, who is in charge of the Rhode Island Department of Education?

RIPR file photo

The latest version of the state budget would cut nearly $1 million from the Rhode Island Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, but most of the governor's other education programs remain intact.

In a written statement, acting Education Commissioner David Abbot praised the budget for increasing aid to school districts, expanding funding for preschool and all-day Kindergarten and boosting aid for school construction.

However, he expressed concerns about an $800,000 cut to the State Department of Education.

UPDATE: The charter school bills have been scratched from Thursday's committee agendas, according to RIPR Political Reporter Ian Donnis at the Statehouse. 

The bills could make it more difficult to open new charter schools. 

One bill calls for a hiatus on granting new charters, due to concerns over funding. A legislative committee has suggested the state re-examine the formula for funding districts and charter schools, which currently receive state and local dollars for each student who enrolls.

Young children in Rhode Island are more ethnically diverse than ever before. That according to new data from Rhode Island Kids Count.

Fewer than three out of every five Rhode Island kids under age five now identify as white. That’s a huge drop from their grandparents’ generation. 91 percent of state residents who are 65 and older identify as white. Kids Count released the numbers as part of a new report on infants, toddlers and their families.

albertogp123 / flickr

A group of community organizations has filed a petition with the State Board of Education to stop high stakes testing from taking effect as early as 2017. The groups are concerned about using the PARCC exam as part of grading or as a graduation requirement.

Providence has named the head of an education consulting firm to lead its school district, while the school board prepares to launch an official search for a new superintendent.

School board members tapped Chris Maher, president of the firm Mass Insight Education, as interim superintendent on Monday night. District spokeswoman Christina Spaight O'Reilly says Maher is eligible to apply for the permanent post.

Current Providence Superintendent Susan Lusi has announced she will step down after this school year, citing a desire to pursue other professional opportunities.

The Rhode Island School of Design celebrates commencement on Saturday at the convention center. At one point it appeared as though 666 students would receive degrees, but the count has gone up to 669.

Either way, the number seems fitting for cult film director John Waters, who is scheduled to address the graduates. Waters is known for movies that push the boundaries of good taste.

RISD President Rosanne Somerson says RISD is known for quirky moments at commencement. Part of the university's tradition involves a unique take on the traditional black robe.

RIPR file photo

Brown University ranks among the top 10 universities whose undergraduates go on to win the prestigious MacArthur "genius" grant, according to new data from the MacArthur Foundation.

Since the foundation began awarding the grants, which honor individuals with great creative potential, Brown graduates have received 14 awards. Harvard produces the most recipients by far with 72 grantees.


Providence students plan to demonstrate at Providence City Hall today. They’re calling for Mayor Jorge Elorza to provide bus passes for students who live two miles or more from school. Students say they must currently live two and-a-half miles from school, at minimum, in order to qualify for free bus passes.

Roselin Trinidad is a senior at Central High School, and a member of the Providence Student Union, the education advocacy group putting on the protest.