New Charter Schools Coming?
There are currently 11 charter schools in RI and the cap is 20. Now that a four year moratorium has been lifted, there are technically 8 entities seeking permission to open “new” charter schools (the Paul Cuffee school wants to expand to 9th grade, which is defined as “new”). I say, let them all go for it (assuming they’re qualified). Here are the candidates, according to the ProJo.
•Two proposals have already received “preliminary approval” from the Board of Regents for Elementary and Secondary Education: the Segue Institute, a middle school in Central Falls; and the Urban League Middle College in East Providence. Segue still hopes to open this fall but the Urban League is unlikely to be ready then.
•The Paul Cuffee School in Providence hopes to receive $800,000 that would allow it to expand into ninth grade this fall. The K-8 school’s plan is to expand to a full high school.
•Two proposals — the Greene School, an environmental high school serving 210 students in Exeter and West Greenwich, and the Nathanael Greene/Potowomut Charter School in Warwick — have been “recommended” by the state Department of Education, but have not been granted preliminary approval.
•Three other groups have recently submitted proposals to the state Department of Education and public hearings were held earlier in April and are waiting for preliminary approval from the department. They are: a “mayoral academy” elementary school in Cumberland that would be run by Democracy Prep, a New York-based charter school operator; Enki Community School, a K-8 school serving 198 students, and Trinity Academy for the Performing Arts, a 7-12 performing arts school for 204 students, both in Providence.
A little something for everyone. Importantly (maybe I buried my lede?) the ProJo reports the state wants to prioritize schools in urban/inner city neighborhoods. I agree inasmuch as those kids are the ones most in need of alternative opportunities. So let’s hope that most of these prove viable and acceptable and that RI students will have more opportunity–more educational choice–in the near future.