U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse visited the Providence Schools Administration Building on April 17 to discuss Senate legislation to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act with Mayor Jorge Elorza, Providence Schools Superintendent Dr. Susan Lusi, senior PPSD staff, and other Rhode Island education leaders.
The bill, which would reauthorize and reform federal elementary and secondary education programs, was set to pass out of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee. It makes significant changes to No Child Left Behind’s accountability requirements, federal elementary and secondary public education programs, and a number of other federal education policies.
As a member of the HELP Committee, Whitehouse has been working closely with Senators from both parties to craft the reauthorization, and he has met frequently with Rhode Islanders to hear about their priorities for the bill. During negotiations, Whitehouse fought successfully against a Republican proposal that would have reduced funding for school districts serving low-income communities like Providence, Central Falls, and Pawtucket. He also succeeded in including a version of his legislation to strengthen after school programs by partnering public schools with community-based organizations.