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Education

A quality education for each student

For generations, access to education has translated directly into opportunity. Yet Providence’s schools are not structured, staffed, or resourced in ways that allow them to meet the needs of students. Families are leaving Providence because of the quality of our public schools, and students who don’t have choices are suffering as a result of their experience in our schools. Our public school students in Providence’s schools need us to act NOW. As Mayor, Gonzalo will prioritize education:

  • Convene a diverse, representative panel of educators, parents, students, and policy leaders in a public reconciliation process that 1) acknowledges the mistakes of the past, 2) restores trust, 3) provides a vehicle for parental, youth, and educator voices and an accountable medium to track best practices and reform efforts, and 4) sets a clear path forward in preparation for the district reverting to local control.

  • Submit and organize around a comprehensive education reform agenda for the 2023-2024 General Assembly session to effect needed change in our schools while they remain under state control, and organize residents, parents, community, and business leaders to ensure passage. 

  • Advocate and pass an equitable state education funding formula that provides greater resources for our students.

  • Increase community accountability by adopting an elected school board that provides more equitable representation of student and parental voices.

  • Put an end to constantly changing, reactionary management plans and curricula. Build trust and accountability through long-term planning and by sticking to the plan. 

  • Direct greater resources to multi-language learners and incentivize the growth in the number of teachers with ESL certification.

  • Institute and/or fund new (and evaluate existing) before and after school programming to meet the real needs of contemporary working families and spark students’ creativity and strengths. 

  • Increase participatory decision-making at the school level by empowering principals to have greater budgetary discretion and establishing a formal school-based parental advisory mechanism.

  • Create a citywide Parent/Caregiver Council that meets with Gonzalo and top school district officials monthly to provide direct and timely feedback. The council will hold the school district accountable for responding to this feedback. 

  • Create a support network for students and parents that connects them with data on demand-driven career opportunities and local employers who can offer hands-on experience as they prepare for a future of success in the local workforce. 

  • Broaden availability of entrepreneurship programs for high school students. 

  • Expedite renovation of school buildings by leveraging state funds and bond money to construct buildings that aren’t just rehabbed but also adapted to meet the needs of 21st-century teaching and learning as well as out-of-classroom wrap-around services. 

  • Prioritize hiring teachers that reflect the student body’s diversity and are committed to Providence so that students see themselves in their faculty, and incentivize teachers to become Providence homeowners through a forgivable downpayment assistance loan program up to $10,000. 

  • Ensure that teacher pay is competitive with surrounding communities to attract talent.

  • Provide alternative pathways (like the TAs to BAs program) to teacher certification.

  • Rethink and redesign school transportation to improve student, parent, and staff experience, as well as reduce neighborhood congestion around school pick-up/drop-off times.