PROVIDENCE — Citing both professional and personal concerns, East Providence resident and former House Majority Leader George Caruolo has decided not to accept an appointment to chair the newly-installed State Board of Education, the office of Governor Lincoln Chafee, who made the initial appointment, released in a statement Friday, Dec. 21.
“I felt that to do this job correctly would require virtually a full time effort,” Mr. Caruolo was quoted as saying in the statement. “That is particularly true during the period when a new structure is designed and implemented. I explained that if I could not dedicate enough time then it was unfair to everyone to have me fill that job.”
Mr. Caruolo, a former elected official from East Providence, attorney and lobbyist, was tabbed by Gov. Chafee to lead the combined former Board of Regents/Board of Governors back in mid-November.
State Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education Deborah A. Gist released a statement on the matter, saying Mr. Caruolo worked “tirelessly in the best interest of the educators and students of Rhode Island” during his time as chairman of the Board of Regents.
She continued, “Under his leadership, the Board of Regents approved new regulations that open opportunities in career-technical education for all Rhode Island high-school students, developed new regulations linking educator certification to evaluation results, and strongly supported innovations such as wireless access to the Internet for all classrooms and opportunities for virtual learning.”
On a personal note, Ms. Gist said, “I have enjoyed an excellent working relationship with Chairman Caruolo over the past two years, and I am disappointed by his decision to withdraw from consideration as chairman of the new Board of Education. All of us at the R.I. Department of Education wish him well, and we look forward to working with the new Board of Education, as we continue to focus on transforming education in Rhode Island.”