The mayors of Providence, Pawtucket and Cranston testified before the Joint House and Senate Finance Committees yesterday to explain that the current pension-reform legislation could lead the cities into bankruptcy. The mayors specifically requested that the legislation allow the cities to cut cost-of-living adjustments to pensions which currently raise pensions at a level significantly higher than inflation. According to House spokeseman Larry Berman, the General Assembly is most likely weeks away from taking action on the bill.
Despite the nor’easter that swept through Providence on Saturday night and eviction notices from Public Safety Commissioner Steven Pare, some Occupiers remain in Burnside Park. Yesterday the group teamed up with the “We are All Arizona” coalition for an anti-deportation march to the State House. Governor Lincoln Chafee ’75 P’14 met protesters on the steps of the capitol building and encouraged their advocacy for immigration reform.
Two years into her reign as education commissioner, Deborah Gist announced that Rhode Island students showed significantly improved test scores. Students beat the national average on the National Report Card test, and the state is one of three to boast significant improvements in both the math and reading portions of the National Assessment of Educational Progress for the second year in a row. Gist credited the higher standards that had been set in the classroom environment with pushing students to excel. But work still needs to be done, she noted — there still exists a significant gap between the scores of minority and low-income students and those of white and middle-to-upper-class students.