Press Release

Statement of American Federation of Teachers and Providence Teachers Union on Final Plan for State Takeover of Providence, RI, Schools

For Release: 

Tuesday, October 15, 2019


Oriana Korin

PROVIDENCE, R.I.—American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten and Providence Teachers Union President Maribeth Calabro issued the following statement in response to Rhode Island Education Commissioner Angélica Infante-Green’s plan outlining how the state will manage the turnaround of Providence Public Schools:

Calabro said:

“From the start, educators and school staff in Providence have voiced readiness to partner with the state to get the city’s students what they need. We have laid out our own set of recommendations to help guide this process and look forward to continuing to work with the commissioner, elected leaders, parents, community and other allies to implement proactive, collaborative strategies that focus directly on supporting students and keeping them safe in the classroom. As this plan moves toward implementation, we hope teachers and school staff are recognized as part of the solution to the challenges in Providence public schools, not seen as a problem to overcome.”

Weingarten said: 

“Every child in Providence is entitled to a great public education—so when the rubber meets the road, it will be teachers and support staff in Providence public schools every day, fighting to make changes and improvements to ensure they can get that education. While the changes in school governance from mayoral to state control may bring investment, transparency and more attention, the goal is not just different governance but student success, and that requires the input of the people who work in schools. We want all Providence public schools to be places where parents want to send their kids, teachers want to teach and kids can thrive: safe and welcoming places that enable teachers to meet the instructional needs of students and deeply respect the voices of this diverse community. We hope this chapter in Providence gets us one step closer to that ultimate goal: the public schools our students deserve.”

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The AFT represents 1.7 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.