Our neighborhood schools are crumbling. For too long, our city has not provided adequate resources to maintain and rehabilitate our school buildings. This failure has not only hurt our children – it has hurt our economy, held our city back, and undercut our future.
Most of our schools are over 50 years old and some of them are over 100 years old – and it shows. Our schools are plagued by leaky roofs, walls and windows, peeling paint, mold and water damage, malfunctioning heating systems, outdated fire systems and crumbling ceilings. They have not been renovated to provide teaching and learning spaces that research tells us allows children to achieve at their highest potential. How can we expect kids to learn and achieve at a high level in these environments?
There is nothing more important for our economy and our future than the education of our children. As Mayor, improving public education will be my number one priority. But we cannot expect high achievement from our teachers and students when our school facilities are rated among the worst in the state. RIDE has stated that studies show a correlation between student achievement and the physical teaching and learning environments they are educated in. Poor physical buildings are not just aesthetically unappealing; they also lead to problems with air quality, temperature control and mold exposure. These conditions are obstacles to learning and can contribute to chronic absenteeism among students and teachers in Providence.
There is nothing more important than the education of our children. That is why we kicked off our campaign with a Big Idea for Providence’s schools and our middle class.
The Big Idea is investing $250 million to rebuild our neighborhood schools over the next 10 years. This plan will create first-rate learning environments for students and teachers. And this plan will create 2,000 jobs for people in the community.
This plan is ambitious, but Providence has only succeeded when we have taken risks with a big vision: preserving our architecture, revitalizing downtown, moving our rivers and highway.
Our big vision will ensure proper learning environments for our students, world class classrooms for our teachers, and thousands of jobs for people in the community. Good jobs and a good education are what built our middle class, and by investing in jobs and education, we will once again rebuild Providence’s middle class.
|View Pictures of the Conditions of Providence Schools