Providence plans to offer financial incentives in an effort to get more certified English language teachers for the district. Providence will reimburse teachers enrolling in certain ESL certification programs, up to $3,200 beginning this summer. The money will come from federal funds funneled through through the school district, and philanthropic dollars yet to be secured. 

Officials expect to have enough money to provide reimbursements for 125 teachers, and they've laid out an ambitious target to certify them in about two years.

"I’ve heard from so many teachers who are craving, want the support, want the tools, want to know what to do with the students," said State Education Commissioner Angelica Infante-Green. "Our population has shifted. We have more multilingual learners in our school, more than we’ve experienced in the past."

The district will offer reimbursements or certification programs at the University of Rhode Island, Rhode Island College, Roger Williams University, and the Rhode Island School for Progressive Education.

Prior to the state takeover, the Department of Justice found Providence was violating the civil rights of students learning English because of, among other things, a lack of trained teachers to work with the population. The DOJ initially laid out a timeline for the city to make improvements to its programs working with ESL students. Since the takeover, Infante-Green says the district has been meeting monthly with the DOJ, to create a new timeline for those fixes.