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Providence Public Schools and Providence Teachers Union Reach One-Year Agreement That Will Extend Learning Time

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The Providence Public School District (PPSD) today announced that it reached a one-year contract agreement with the Providence Teachers Union (PTU). This historic agreement will extend students’ learning time and expand professional development time for educators to bolster academic recovery in the wake of the pandemic. 

The agreement establishes the longest school day in the history of Providence Public Schools with an additional 30 minutes of instruction time each day. In total, elementary school students will receive 6 hours and 45 minutes of daily instruction, while middle and high school students will be engaged in 7 hours and 15 minutes of instructional time. The extension of learning time is in line with key pillars of community-driven Providence Turnaround Action Plan by promoting excellence in learning and supporting world class talent, as well as the report and recommendations of the Learning, Equity & Accelerated Pathways (LEAP) Task Force, which was convened by RIDE and national experts to help Rhode Island strategize on how to ensure students’ recovery from the learning disruption of COVID-19.

The one-year agreement is effective from September 1, 2023, to August 31, 2024, and includes a cost-of-living wage increase of 2.5% at the start of the contract year, followed by an additional three quarters-percent increase at the conclusion of the year. Moreover, the agreement includes a provision for 90 minutes of professional development every other week after the school day, along with four annual professional development days to support the additional learning time. The 30 minute extension and additional professional development is expected to sunset after 1 year. 

"Each and every day, Providence’s educators work tirelessly to shape a brighter future for our children and our community. This agreement recognizes their hard work and seeks to make sure that our students are back on track academically so they can flourish in the classroom and beyond," said Rhode Island Governor Dan McKee. "With wage increases, additional professional development time, and an unprecedented extension of the school day, this agreement will move Providence Public Schools forward. I extend my heartfelt gratitude to PTU President Maribeth Calabro, RIDE Commissioner Angélica Infante-Green, and Superintendent Javier Montañez for their collaboration in reaching this agreement that considers the needs of students, families, and educators alike."

“We know that our students succeed when they are provided high-quality education by teachers who are supported,” said Providence Mayor Brett P. Smiley. “Anytime we can expand those opportunities and extend learning time it’s a win for Providence students.” 

"To turnaround Providence Public Schools and ensure students in the capital city get the world-class education they deserve, we must work collaboratively, and I am pleased that through partnership we have reached an agreement that will help meet the academic needs of students and support educators with increased wages and expanded access to professional learning,” said Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE) Commissioner Angélica Infante-Green. "By being the first district in Rhode Island to leverage federal relief funds to strategically address the learning loss caused by COVID-19 by extending the school day, Providence Public Schools is leading by example. This major investment in extending learning time and connecting educators to critical resources and training prioritizes the best interests of all our stakeholders and will help improve academic outcomes.”

“By putting our students at the center and supporting our teachers, we will put Providence Public Schools on a path to become the destination for education,” said PPSD Superintendent Javier Montañez. “Like so many communities across the nation, the pandemic had a deep impact on Providence, and we know that our students need to be engaged in meaningful, high-quality learning experiences to not just recover but get ahead. With more learning time and expanded access to teacher supports, PPSD will continue to move in the right direction.”

“I am proud to work with collaborative partners who put students first in this historic contract extension,” said Providence School Board President Erlin Rogel. “Providence families deserve an all-hands-on-deck remedy to address the learning gaps caused by the recent COVID-19 pandemic. This agreement sends a strong message to our community that our kids are our number one priority.”

“We are pleased to have a one year agreement that recognizes Providence Educators professionalism and dedication to our students and their success,” said PTU President Maribeth Calabro. “This agreement is a testament to the power of collaboration and the collective belief in our student’s ability to achieve academic success in the wake of the pandemic.”

In addition to the planned wage increases over the upcoming year, PTU members can expect the following compounded wage increases:

- September 1, 2023: 2.50%

- August 31, 2024: 0.75%