Gov. Dan McKee and Lt. Gov. Sabina Matos released the Rhode Island 2030 plan Oct. 15, outlining their vision for Rhode Island’s future in the coming decade.
“As Rhode Island emerges from a once-in-a-century public health crisis, we have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to build a more resilient, prosperous and equitable state for all,” McKee wrote in a letter at the beginning of the plan.
Jonathan Collins, assistant professor of international and public affairs and education, noted the plan’s emphasis on closing the digital divide — which refers to the disparity in student access to technology between school districts — and updating Rhode Island’s historically poorly maintained school buildings.
“What you see here is investments in capital projects that can be one-time purchases that can have long-term impacts,” Collins said.
Nate Schwartz, associate professor of practice at the Annenberg Institute, said that the plan’s recommendations regarding education policy feel “mostly right at the high level.” Schwartz praised how the plan lays out short-term actions based on recovering from the pandemic, such as an increased focus on mental health services and prioritization of student engagement.
But Schwartz also expressed concerns that the plan lacks specifics about implementation and does not prioritize its stated goals. Many reform efforts struggle because of instability in leadership or shifting priorities, Schwartz said, “or because many states try to do too many things at once instead of focusing on a more select subset that they can do well.”