Former House Majority Leader George Caruolo, who has re-emerged as a bigger force since Governor Lincoln Chafee took office, has been appointed by Chafee as head of the new state Board of Education.
The governor says this via news release:
During his time as a state representative, George earned a reputation as an active participant in our state’s efforts to improve public education. More recently, I have witnessed first-hand George’s energy, knowledge, and experience as a member of the Board of Regents. He is a tireless advocate for our state’s students. George’s four children went through the Rhode Island public school system, and he is committed to joining me in working to make Rhode Island’s schools, colleges, and universities the finest in the nation.
The consolidation of the Boards of Regents and Governors, passed by the legislature in June, affects an extraordinarily important sector of Rhode Island – our education system. A great deal of work needs to be done before the reconstituted Board is up and running well.
In my twenty years of public service, I have always given a priority to public education. Most recently, that has been evident through increases in the budget for elementary, secondary, and higher education.
With this in mind, it is my hope that this redesigned Board will have enhanced ability for greater planning, coordination, and resource allocation from kindergarten to higher education. This will produce benefits for our students, our economy, and all Rhode Islanders.
Critics have panned what they call a hasty move to reorganize the oversight of education in Rhode Island. Supporters say the move is justified by the need to improve the performance of students.