June 30, 2011

Providence Schools at the Center of the End of the Legislative Session?

Carroll Andrew Morse

At 10:22 this morning, notice was posted of a bill (S1062) to be heard by the House Finance Committee at noon today which would grant "the chief executive officer of any municipality having an appointed school committee" most of the same contract-negotiating powers that are held by elected school committees.

Some pure speculation on my part: In return or going along with the I-195 bill, could the powers-that-be in the Providence Mayor's office (and their allies in the RI House) be asking for much more direct power over the Providence school system?

And some speculation-squared: Would those same powers-that-be in the Providence Mayor's office be happy getting what they asked for, only to immediately lose it to a binding arbitrator?

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"Would those same powers-that-be in the Providence Mayor's office be happy getting what they asked for, only to immediately lose it to a binding arbitrator?"

I was wondering this very thing while reading your post... Why on earth would the mayor want the negotiation authority when it will be limited with the binding arbitration?

There's got to be something else going on here.

Posted by: stuckhereinri at June 30, 2011 2:21 PM

Alan covered this over on RIF a couple weeks ago...

From the Projo article:

A city School Board member has resigned, saying Mayor Angel Taveras has usurped the authority of the board and prompted the superintendent of schools to leave...

[Philip Gould, chairman of Brown University’s English department] said he reached the breaking point when the mayor announced the formation of an education task force composed of members of the community, including a representative from the School Board.

“You have — most egregiously — announced the formation of an Educational Working Group to design and articulate policies meant to shape the future of the district,” Gould wrote. “Such an entity is the most insulting, even infantilizing, act of your administration.

“After pleading with the School Board to close schools, you have now … embarked on a plan for another, de facto, School Board,” he wrote, “one that will be run by [Taveras education adviser Angela] Romans and will master all ideas while the appointed School Board will be left presumably to vote on contracts and rubber-stamp any legal agreements between the city and organized labor groups.”

Taveras, however, said he stands by his decision to hire a senior adviser for education, especially in light of what he called “the harmful stalemate that existed between the School Board and the school district” when he took office.

Must be about that.

Posted by: Russ at June 30, 2011 4:09 PM

Well, in a contest between Mayor Taveras and an ivory-tower Deconstructivist egghead from Brown, I'd bet on the Mayor.

Posted by: BobN at June 30, 2011 4:16 PM

Yeah, no one should listen to those Brown grads, eh, Bob?

Posted by: Russ at June 30, 2011 4:24 PM

If Chafee's is Brown's shining example then Bob's got a pretty good point. Shoeing horses to politics. Great resume.

Posted by: Max Diesel at June 30, 2011 11:34 PM

Travis Rowley, Bobby Jindal, Stephen Beale, Andrew Kurtzman, all Brown alumni.

Posted by: Patrick at July 1, 2011 11:20 AM

I don't have anything against Brown alums or eggheads (proud geek here). Just poking fun at Bob, who if I'm not mistaken knows a bit about deconstructivist eggheads.

Posted by: Russ at July 1, 2011 3:47 PM
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