Education

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Education advocates say there’s a lot to like about the state’s new budget for public schools. That includes new funding for special education and early childhood education. But some advocates are concerned about the future of charter schools.

For more on that, Rhode Island Public Radio’s Elisabeth Harrison spoke to Daniela Fairchild from the Rhode Island Campaign for Achievement Now, a group that advocates for charter schools and higher standards for all schools, among other issues.

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A new analysis of executive compensation at state universities shows the University of Rhode Island trailing much of New England.  The Chronicle of Higher Education looked at state college president salaries across the country in fiscal year 2015. URI’s David Dooley made $330,000 that year, less than any other president of a flagship university in New England, except the University of Maine.

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Rhode Island College will offer the state’s first undergraduate certificate for students with intellectual disabilities. 

Elisabeth Harrison

Starting in September, every public school in Providence will designate teams to meet one-on-one with transgender students and their families. Providence Public Schools spokesperson Laura Hart said it’s part of a new policy aimed at making sure schools respect the rights of transgender and other gender non-conforming students.

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

Central Falls High School has just graduated more than a dozen seniors who are the first in Rhode Island to receive special recognition for speaking and reading two languages. 

Elisabeth Harrison

In the aftermath of the sex abuse scandal at St. George's School, Rhode Island lawmakers are considering legislation that would close a loophole in the state’s mandatory child abuse reporting law.

The loophole, first reported by Rhode Island Public Radio, seems to allow schools and other institutions to avoid reporting abuse allegations against their employees. 

Budget Changes Charter School Funding

Jun 8, 2016
Ian Donnis / RIPR

The House Finance Committee has changed the structure of payments made by local school districts to charter schools and mayoral academies.

Governor Raimondo had proposed an across-the-board decrease in tuition payments made to charter schools, but the House committee voted to give municipalities more options when it comes to reimbursing the charter schools.

St. George's Head Of School Announces Resignation

Jun 8, 2016
Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

The head of St. George's School will not seek an extension of his contract wheni it expires in the Spring of 2017. 

"I am enormously grateful to have had the opportunity to be a part of St. George's," said Eric Peterson in a written statement Tuesday. "I am hopeful that announcing this decision now will allow for a thorough, national search for a successor, a process that requires substantial lead time and significant effort."

John Bender / RIPR

New immigrants can find it difficult to navigate the complex American school system, and it's even trickier when language and culture separate you from other parents, teachers, and administrators.

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Transgender advocates and civil rights groups plan to urge Rhode Island to adopt a statewide policy on transgender students in public schools. Last week the federal government issued guidance that says transgender students must be allowed to use the bathroom and locker room of the gender they identify with.

The Obama administration also instructed teachers to use the name and pronoun the family prefers.

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

  Education officials are backing away from a plan to require test scores for a high school diploma. 

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Clarke Greene, the current interim Vice President for Advancement and External Relations, will now serve as the interim college president. Greene’s interim position was approved by the state Council on Postsecondary Education.

John Bender / RIPR

Advanced placement – or AP – courses are offered in many high schools as a way for students to take college-level classes and impress college admissions officers. Over the past decade, the number of students taking these challenging courses has nearly doubled. But one private high school in Rhode Island is saying no more to the AP. Lincoln School in Providence plans to stop offering AP courses in the fall of 2017. Lincoln Head of School Suzanne Fogarty discussed the decision with Rhode Island Public Radio’s Elisabeth Harrison.

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  The University of Rhode Island has tapped the first Hispanic woman Supreme Court justice to deliver the school's 2016 commencement speech. Sonia Sotomayor will receive an honorary doctorate of law from the institution. 

"She is a true champion for equal rights and social justice in the 21st Century and a magnificent role model for our graduates and the entire community," said URI President David M. Dooley in a release.

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Children are becoming more diverse in Rhode Island, but the number of babies born in withdrawal from opioids continues to grow. Those are just some of the statistics in this year’s Kids Count fact book, which comes out Monday. Rhode Island Public Radio’s Elisabeth Harrison spoke with Rhode Island Kids Count Executive Director Elizabeth Burke Bryant about several of the highlights in the report.  

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