PROVIDENCE (AP) — Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza did not include a plan for the city's struggling public schools in his annual State of the City address.

In a speech before the City Council on Monday, Elorza entered his sixth year as mayor touting a “New Providence” amid Education Commissioner Angélica Infante-Green's recent seizure of the school district.

Elorza lauded the city's record investments in public parks and infrastructure and its improved customer service for residents and businesses.

“Regardless of what the challenge is, the New Providence will meet the urgency of the moment,” Elorza said in his prepared remarks.

Halfway through the speech, the mayor mentioned the state's November takeover of the 20,000-student school district.

Elorza acknowledged that his administration and those before it “never managed to break through and bring about the change that was needed.”

He added, "Even with the uncertainty that comes with a total district turnaround, our commitment to public education remains as firm as it has ever been.” But the mayor did not divulge any plans to ensure the takeover addresses the district's major downfalls.

City Council President Sabina Matos said Tuesday that while the progress the city has made overall is noteworthy, “we have yet to turn the page on our most stubbornly daunting issues,” including the fact that “our education system is the subject of national scrutiny.”

The state takeover followed a scathing report released in June from researchers at Johns Hopkins University that found the district beleaguered with low test scores, crumbling infrastructure and widespread dysfunction.

The education commissioner said at the time that she wasn’t comfortable sending her children to any school in the city.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.