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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The Providence City Council approved a resolution Thursday that authorizes its president to hire an education policy consultant.

The consultant would provide advice and guidance as the school district transitions back to city control, according to the council.

The district has been state-run since November 2019. The original turnaround plan, released in June 2020, set dozens of goals for the state-run district to hit in the 2024-25 school year, ranging from math and English proficiency to graduation rates and attendance.

Last year, a new list of metrics provided to the Senate Oversight Committee stretched those goals out to the 2026-27 school year. R.I. Education Commissioner Angélica Infante-Green told 12 News the change was due to the disruption in schooling during the pandemic.

The council’s resolution authorizes Steve Smith of Steve Smith Consulting, LLC, to be hired “at a cost of no more than $5,000 a month not to exceed $60,000 annually.”

Smith was also a teacher and the former longtime head of the Providence Teachers Union, in addition to a former state representative.

A city council spokesperson told 12 News an agreement has not been signed yet.

Alexandra Leslie ( is a Target 12 investigative reporter covering Providence and more for 12 News. Connect with her on Twitter and Facebook.

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