With the state’s school masking mandate ending next week, will Newport’s public schools also lift the mandate? We’ll learn more today at 1:30 p.m. when School Superintendent Colleen Burns Jermain joins WhatsUpNewp for her monthly videocast.

We’ll also learn more about the school department’s effort to cover increasing costs for its school building project – additional classrooms at the elementary school and a new high school. Will the City Council make funds available from a bond premium sale?

We’ll talk about the school budget for 2022-23, whether protests from parents about teaching of Critical Race Theory (CRT) has reached Newport. School systems in other parts of the state – Westerly and South Kingstown, among others – are reeling from citizens questioning school boards about CRT, about teaching of race related history, about book banning.

Also, we’ll explore the benefits of and who should be enrolling in the Newport Area Career & Technical Education program, with the deadline for enrollment just days away. And we’ll talk about the state Department of Education’s SurveyWorks, which looks for input from parents, students and faculty about their school systems.