Rhode Island Public Radio's Political Analyst Scott MacKay answers my questions about the political machinations that left Rhode Island with no board for either K-12 public schools or colleges and universities at the start of 2013.

Sawyer School in Pawtucket, RI
Elisabeth Harrison

Special Assistant to the Commissioner of the RI Board of Governors for Higher Education, Michael Trainor, talks with RIPR Morning Edition Host Elisabeth Harrison about the Sawyer School which abruptly closed this month.  Trainor discusses what safeguards are in place to protect students enrolled in for-profit schools, the status of the school at its last audit, and what RI is doing for students left stranded.

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(PROVIDENCE, RI) RIPR Political Commentator Scott MacKay analyzes why the state does not have a functioning Board of Education.

(PROVIDENCE, RI) In Portsmouth, fundraising efforts are underway to help the high school band get down to Washington DC to play in the President’s inaugural parade. The invitation came out of the blue.

(PROVIDENCE, RI) The state’s office of higher education says it’s keeping an eye on other for-profit schools in the wake of the sudden closure of a career technical school.

(PROVIDENCE, RI) State senator Hanna Gallo says she expects her bill to push back the effective date on a new board that would govern K-12 and higher education will be approved Thursday. The board has technically been in effect since Tuesday.

(PROVIDENCE, RI) The state Senate approved a bill Thursday to allow additional time for a controversial merger of two state boards of education.

The bill will continue the existence until March 7 of separate state boards for K-through-12 and public higher education. It also pushes back until September the final structure for combining the two boards.

(PROVIDENCE, RI) The state senate is expected to vote Thursday on legislation that pushes back the starting date of a new board overseeing both K-12 and higher education.

In the final days of the last session, lawmakers approved legislation squeezed into the state budget that merges the boards governing K-12 and higher education. The new board has been technically in effect since Tuesday, but there are no members in place to govern.

A bill introduced Wednesday by state Senator Hanna Gallo would delay until September 1 the “final plan for the permanent administrative structure” for the controversial combined state Board of Education.

In a signal of a green light for the bill, cosponsors include Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed and Majority Leader Dominick Ruggerio.