Central Falls is a city in Providence County, Rhode Island, United States. The population was 19,376 at the 2010 census. With an area of only 1.29 square miles (3.3 km2), it is the smallest and most densely populated city in the smallest state, and the thirty-second most densely populated incorporated place in the United States. Central Falls takes its name from a waterfall on the Blackstone River. In May 2010, Central Falls went into receivership, then filed for bankruptcy August 1, 2011. As it is immediately north of Pawtucket, Rhode Island, one of the options under discussion is municipal merger.
Residents are served by the Central Falls School District. This school district is funded and appointed by the State of Rhode Island Department of Education. In February 2010, the entire faculty and administrative staff of Central Falls High School was fired after the teachers' union refused to accept one of the "No Child Left Behind" options for restructuring failing schools. In accordance with NCLB legislation, schools deemed failing have four options to follow for restructuring.
The teachers' union refused to accept to work 25 minutes of extra time under the "transforming model", so the superintendent proceeded and chose the "turnaround model", which requires a district to fire the entire staff (teachers and administrators). They may rehire up to 50% of the teachers for the beginning of the next school year. The school has a graduation rate of around 50%, and 7% of 11th-graders were proficient in mathematics in 2009. This school had been identified as one of the worst in the state. The teachers union sued the school district, challenging the requirement that teachers must reapply for their jobs. The Obama administration sided with the school board. In May 2010, the teachers were rehired when they agreed to work the extra time required.