Rhode Island’s Board of Education votes Monday on a plan to split the board in to two separate councils. One council would focus on K-12 education, while the other would focus on higher education.
The plan comes after the state merged its separate boards of education, citing the need for better coordination of public schools and universities. Supporters said they were tired of hearing business and higher education leaders complain that graduates of Rhode Island high schools were unprepared for life after high school.
But critics of the merger said it created a board unable to focus adequately on the needs of higher education and K-12 schools. They also argued that board duties within the two systems are vastly different, and that each system deserved separate consideration.
Board officials say they believe new structure will give them time to focus on the specific issues facing both higher education and K-12 public schools, while maintaining oversight over the entire system with a single board.