The President of the Providence School Board, Keith Oliveira is stepping down. He’s served as the head of the group for the last four years.
Oliveira says interference by Mayor Jorge Elorza’s administration has caused him to leave. He says the mayor intervened on matters including hiring decisions, budget creation and contract agreements.
“I believe that school boards should have independent authority to make its own decisions on that affect the school district, without interference from the mayor’s office,” said Oliveira.
In a written statement, the mayor’s office said it accepted the resignation, but noted that “strong collaboration is essential to moving Providence Schools forward.”
The mayor’s office appoints member to the board. Oliveira was first appointed by former Mayor Angel Taveras.
Oliveira says he expects current board vice president Nick Hemond to assume the top spot following his departure later this month.
Oliveira’s departure comes months after former Providence Superintendent Susan Lusi left her post. In an interview with Rhode Island Public Radio she did not directly imply that the Mayor’s office was the cause for her leaving.
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