Seven Catholic schools have closed this year in Rhode Island, a “crisis in Catholic education” that is likely exacerbated by a tough economy and high health-care costs. Another issue is the cost of tuition for prospective parents, many of whom simply can’t afford to send their children. Recently, Catholic schools witnessed a marked decline in enrollment from 11,877 in 2004 to 9,321 in 2009. Meanwhile, school tuition jumped from $3,423 per year to $4,535.
The top executive at CVS, Tom Ryan, has announced he will step down in May 2011 and will give up some responsibilities until then to groom other executives for leadership. Ryan has spent 36 years at the Woonsocket-based company and has overseen its rise to become the 18th-largest company in the country. CVS is also under investigation in the aftermath of its acquisition of pharmacy-benefits manager Caremark Rx Inc., and its executives had earlier been investigated for possibly bribing state legislators.
Rhode Island Sen. Jack Reed helped shape the Senate financial reform bill when he co-sponsored (with Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown) an amendment to create a consumer protection agency for members of the military. The amendment would provide services to those in the armed forces to help them manage their finances and teach them about consumer financial products. Reed spoke glowingly of Brown, saying, “As a lawyer, as a company commander, and as someone who has served in various capacities within the Guard, Scott Brown knows from firsthand experience that young troops particularly, men and women of our Armed Forces, can be exploited by unscrupulous business practices…”