Backlash against DEI spreads to more states
Rhode Island Current » Education
by Erika Bolstad
12h ago
A student walks on the University of Utah campus in Salt Lake City in April. Utah has enacted a new law that prohibits schools from using diversity, equity and inclusion statements, bars state institutions from relying on specific individual characteristics in employment and education decisions, and eliminates central offices dedicated to DEI. (Erika Bolstad/Stateline) SALT LAKE CITY — Shortly after taking office in 2023, Republican state Rep. Katy Hall heard from constituents complaining about how their adult children were required to write diversity, equity and inclusion statements while ap ..read more
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Rhode Island’s children are doing OK, but not as well as kids in much of New England
Rhode Island Current » Education
by Alexander Castro
1w ago
Rhode Island placed 12th in an annual nationwide survey of children’s well-being. (Photo by Lourdes Balduque/Getty image) Rhode Island placed 12th in an annual nationwide survey of children’s well-being, but was outranked by every other New England state except Maine, according to a report released Monday by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. While Rhode Island’s overall ranking was high, it performed unevenly across the four categories that inform the overall score.  The Ocean State also ranked sixth in health and ninth in economic well-being, but received less positive grades in the remain ..read more
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Nearly-$14B budget plan breezes through Rhode Island House on 69-5 vote Friday
Rhode Island Current » Education
by Nancy Lavin
1w ago
Rep Marvin Abney, House Finance chairman and Newport Democrat, introduces the revised fiscal 2025 budget articles to the House floor on Friday, June 7, 2025. (Michael Salerno/Rhode Island Current) Finalizing the state’s annual spending plan is often a contentious, drawn-out process. Not this year. A $13.96 billion fiscal 2025 budget breezed through the Rhode Island House of Representatives Friday night. The 69-5 vote came after a mere 3 1/2 hours of discussion that included high praise for funding of critical and often contested issues like state pensions for retirees, K-12 education and heal ..read more
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An ensemble play: R.I. arts organizations join together to call for state support
Rhode Island Current » Education
by Alexander Castro
1w ago
A production photo from Trinity Repertory Company’s spring 2024 staging of August Wilson’s 1985 play ‘Fences.’ Trinity Rep is one of three organizations that would benefit from a capital improvement bond proposed by Rhode Island House leadership. But the Providence theater says operating costs are still a major concern. (Marisa Lenardson/Courtesy of Trinity Repertory Company) Big things come in small packages, the cliché goes. But a proposed funding package for Rhode Island’s arts and culture economy is even smaller than advocates hoped.  The Rhode Island House’s proposed version of the ..read more
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State-funded preschool in Rhode Island is a maze. But one engineered with a purpose.
Rhode Island Current » Education
by Alexander Castro
2w ago
Vanida Phrathep is shown with her daughter Scarlette at a family event at Beautiful Beginnings in Providence in April 2024. (Courtesy of Vanida Phrathep) The poet Emily Dickinson once wrote, “To wait an hour/is long.”  How about two months? That’s how long Vanida Phrathep, a Providence mother of three, sat on proverbial pins and needles, wondering if her then 4-year-old son Noah would get into state-funded pre-K.  “It’s the waiting that was really anxiety-provoking,” Phrathep said in a recent phone interview. Her angst was due in part to the state’s method of assigning free seats fo ..read more
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Universities try 3-year degrees to save students time, money
Rhode Island Current » Education
by Elaine S. Povich
2w ago
Students walk to and from classes on the Indiana University campus, in Bloomington, Ind. The state just enacted a new law calling on all Indiana public universities to study how they would implement a three-year bachelor’s degree program, if accreditors agree, to save students money and get them into the workforce more quickly. (Darron Cummings/The Associated Press) With college costs rising and some students and families questioning the return on investment of a four-year degree, a few pioneering state universities are exploring programs that would grant certain bachelor’s degrees in three y ..read more
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Funds for clean school buses coming to hundreds of districts, White House says 
Rhode Island Current » Education
by Shauneen Miranda
2w ago
The Biden administration on Wednesday said it will provide funding to help school districts purchase clean school buses, most of them electric. Shown is a yellow electric school bus plugged into a charging station. (Photo by TW Farlow/Getty Images) WASHINGTON — As part of its ongoing effort to replace diesel-fueled school buses, the Biden administration on Wednesday said it will provide approximately 530 school districts across nearly all states with almost $1 billion to help them purchase clean school buses. The initiative, part of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean School Bus ..read more
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The first 250 new CollegeBound Saver accounts opened Wednesday will receive $300. Here’s why.
Rhode Island Current » Education
by Janine L. Weisman
2w ago
Wednesday, May 29, is 529 Day. The first 250 Rhode Islanders who open a new CollegeBound Savings account will receive $300 through an initiative funded by the state and the Rhode Island Foundation. (Getty image) The first 250 Rhode Islanders to open a state-administered 529 educational savings plan account on Wednesday, May 29, will receive a one-time $300 contribution under an initiative led by the Office of  General Treasurer James Diossa in honor of 529 Day. The offer is made possible through a partnership with the Rhode Island Foundation and the Office of the Postsecondary Commission ..read more
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Child Advocate nominee praised for commitment to improving the child welfare system
Rhode Island Current » Education
by Alexander Castro
3w ago
Katelyn Medeiros already leads the Office of the Child Advocate. Her post may soon be a permanent one. She says her office’s priorities haven’t changed either. ‘I believe that our office has been and will continue to fulfill and uphold the mission to serve the best interests of children,’ she said after a Senate Judiciary hearing on May 23, 2024. (Alexander Castro/Rhode Island Current) Maybe it’s counterintuitive to testify on behalf of the agency charged with keeping tabs on your employer. But that’s what Matthew Gunnip —  a caseworker for the Department of Children, Youth and Families ..read more
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Connecticut’s roots are in the defense industry. Can its colleges truly divest?
Rhode Island Current » Education
by Erica E. Phillips
3w ago
Students gather around a Sikorsky Black Hawk Helicopter during "Lockheed Martin Day" at the University of Connecticut. (UConn photo) On a sunny Thursday afternoon earlier this month, about 100 students gathered outside the Dodd Center for Human Rights on the University of Connecticut’s campus in Storrs for a press conference.  While most of the school’s nearly 20,000 undergraduates were clearing out dorm rooms and posing for graduation photos in their caps and gowns, the impassioned group chanted in unison for an end to the war in Gaza. Days earlier, UConn leaders had cleared a cluster o ..read more
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