PROVIDENCE – New York officials are aggressively recruiting Rhode Island Education Commissioner Angélica Infante-Green to oversee public schools in her home state, but she intends to remain in the job that she’s held for less than six months.
Infante-Green grew up in New York City and previously served as a deputy commissioner for the New York State Education Department, “so they expressed an interest in having her return to New York,” said Meg Geoghegan, a spokesperson for the Rhode Island Department of Education.
“That being said, we just embarked on perhaps the most consequential effort in our state’s history to improve outcomes for all students, and Commissioner Infante-Green is committed to that work,” Geoghegan said.
New York Board of Regents Chancellor Betty Rosa did not respond to requests for comment over the weekend.
The job as New York education commissioner is one of the most coveted positons in the country for school administrators, in part because it includes oversight of the nation’s largest school district, New York City’s. John King Jr., who held the post between 2011 and 2014, went on to be US secretary of education under President Obama.
Beth Berlin, New York’s interim commissioner, announced last week she plans to step aside next month. She succeeded MaryEllen Elia, who led the department for four years before resigning in August.
Infante-Green has quickly become one of Rhode Island’s most prominent public officials since she started as commissioner on April 29. She is currently in the process of leading the state’s takeover of Providence’s struggling school system following a scathing report issued by researchers from Johns Hopkins University.
David Steiner, who led the Johns Hopkins review, served as New York’s education commissioner between 2009 and 2011.
New York spends nearly $36 billion a year on education, while tiny Rhode Island spends about $1 billion. Infante-Green earns $232,000 a year, while Berlin makes $199,000. Elia, the last permanent commissioner in New York, was paid $304,000 a year.