PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Mayor Jorge Elorza argues there’s much to be proud of as he leaves City Hall, from lower crime to more responsible finances. But he acknowledges he didn’t manage to improve the city schools, a goal he had when he first took office.
“It absolutely feels like unfinished business,” Elorza said during an exit interview with 12 News. “When I became mayor, more than anything else what I wanted to do is turn around our public schools. What I came to realize is that there is no mayor, there is no superintendent, there is no principal that can turn around our schools.”
Elorza argues the issues are structural, prompting him to float the idea of replacing public schools with charter schools. He says he doesn’t regret ceding control of the public school system to the state, even though he’s been sharply critical of the progress of the turnaround so far.
The outgoing mayor says he and his wife Stephanie Gonzalez have decided not to send their 4-year-old son Omar to the city’s public schools.
“Absolutely not,” Elorza said. “And it hurts me to say that.”
In the above video, Steph Machado shares highlights from Mayor Elorza’s exit interview. You can watch the entire interview on Pulse of Providence below.