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The Rhode Island State SenateThe vote was 30-6, with only one Democrat in opposition. Under the leadership of Governor Gina Raimondo, who is about to become President Biden’s Commerce Secretary, the state has welcomed charter operators (Raimondo was a hedge fund executive before she became Governor).
This delay offers state officials time to stabilize public schools in Providence and elsewhere, where charters have flocked and removed students and funding.
Linda Borg of the Providence Journal reports:
Sen. Ryan Pearson has seen Cumberland, one of his districts, lose a significant number of traditional public school students to charter schools.
He argued that the latest charter expansion would have a devastating financial impact on the sending districts, as much as $92 million in lost tuition. The funding or per pupil expenditure “follows” the student from his or her original district to the charter school.
“Two weeks ago,” Ryan said, “I asked Providence for a plan” to explain how the district would make up for an estimated $80-plus million in lost tuition. “Fourteen days later, that plan has not arrived.”
School choice, he and others said, costs money.