Tim Caplan – News Editor
During the 2018 midterm elections Rhode Islanders had the opportunity to vote on the “Higher Education Facilities Bond Measure,” also known as Question 2. RIC faculty and staff have been seen throughout the months of October and November lobbying on campus, encouraging voters to select “Yes” on ballot referendum question 2, which would provide $70 million in taxpayer money to be allocated between URI and RIC. $45 million would go to URI to upgrade “Education and research needs for the marine disciplines,” and $25 million would go to RIC to revitalize and upgrade Horace Mann Hall.
Rhode Island voters approved of the ballot referendum by a margin of more than 60,000 votes with a final count of 59% to 40%.
President Sanchez appeared on WPRI 12’s “Newsmakers” program on Oct. 5th to discuss Question 2. Together with the President of URI, Dr. David Dooley, they discussed Question 2, student debt in Rhode Island, and the Rhode Island Promise program. Sanchez said the ballot referendum will help RIC “completely modernize Horace Mann which houses our education department.” Sanchez continued, “If you think about it Horace Mann was built nearly 50 years ago and there has not been any major renovation since. As a lot of folks know, training and preparation of teachers has changed dramatically over the past 50 years. What [Question 2] would do for us is allow us to build a facility to complement an entirely reimagined curriculum in our school of education.”
President Sanchez went on to talk about the fact that RIC has engaged with thought leaders across the country on developing modern techniques associated with teacher training. RIC consulted with universities like Arizona State and Baylor to try to discover all of the different new strategies of teaching students. Sanchez mentioned video coaching technology and simulations as two modern tactics to help teachers of the future.
As the ballot referendum passed on November 6th, renovations are set to begin in 2019.