The Northern Rhode Island “Democrats For School Choice” Ride Again!

A year ago it was North Providence interim-Mayor John Sisto who was the honorary chair of the movement to allow relatives of Rhode Island pols to attend the public school of their choice, free of charge. This election cycle, according to a Gerry Goldstein report in this week’s Valley Breeze, it looks like Smithfield Town Council President Stephen Archambault will be leading the charge…

With the campaign barely under way as both parties were readying to file their endorsed slates, the Republicans issued a press release Tuesday, June 24, saying that an investigation has revealed that “two nephews and one niece of Town Council President Archambault have been illicitly attending school in Smithfield for the last eight years”….
Archambault said it has always been his understanding that while the students involved did indeed have partial residence in another town, they live the majority of their time in Smithfield.
He said he recalls that the children’s mother, his sister, explained the situation to the School Department eight years ago and that any complications seemed to be resolved….
He confirmed that the School Department investigated after receiving an e-mail tip, and that the evidence gathered indicated a student or students “may not be living in Smithfield.”
My reaction to this news item is the same as my reaction to the original Sisto item: if Councilman Archambault thinks it’s a good idea for the relatives of town councilmen to be able to choose the public schools their children attend, shouldn’t they be in favor of extending that right to every family in Rhode Island? If school choice is good for the families of our pols, wouldn’t it be good for the families of regular citizens too?

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15 years ago

I’m just excited to see the GOP in this state finally learning how to play the game the same way the Dems do…
Man, if they’re going to open up a muckraking division, I want in!

Citizen Critic
Citizen Critic
15 years ago

Are you telling us that the state Democrats are the real elitists in the state?

George Elbow
George Elbow
15 years ago

Gents (&Ladies?),
Let’s not get off message here.
Andrew raises and addresses a very real issue, perhaps one of the most critical of our times.
How about we completely eliminate property tax as a means of funding education, given that education is a state constitutional mandate and fund education entirely via State Aid.
From that, we then move to School Choice …i.e. any student within the state, regardless of what town they live in, can attend the school of their choice with the funding to follow the student.
Isn’t it time that we start providing and allowing CHOICE, moving to a Free Market framework in which underperforming schools lose “customers” and funding?
Even Bob Walsh who fears the free market like a frightened mouse fears a cat would have a hard time coming up with a reason to oppose this, given that the funding would follow the student, as Bob’s only concern is Funding (as opposed to students and education).
By the way, has anyone noticed that the DOW is at its lowest level in 2+ years? I wonder how those “Walshian Assumptions” of 8.25% annual returns in the Pension are holding up?
Oh that’s right, Bob could really care less, as his flock receives a gauranteed benefit, regardless of the returns. The bill just gets passed on to the taxpayers.

15 years ago

This is very puzzling because I thought all teachers did an equally good job. (At least that’s what the NEA asserts by negotiating raises on the basis of something other than merit and student achievement.) So why would anyone need to send a child to a school outside of his or her assigned district?

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