Democracy Prep leaving Rhode Island?
Rhode Island Mayoral Academies announced today that Democracy Prep will no longer help to run the Blackstone Valley charter school it helped to start.
Democracy Prep Blackstone Valley opened in Cumberland in the 2009-2010 school year amid much fanfare as the state’s first mayoral academy, a category created under a state law that exempts some charter schools from teachers union rules, prevailing wage laws and contributions to state employee pension plans.
Democracy Prep was founded by Brown graduate Seth Andrew and operates a middle school in Harlem. Cumberland Mayor and RIMA Board Chair Daniel McKee says he was unable to reach agreement with the organization on a contract to continue working with the Blackstone Valley campus.
“Although we are disappointed that we were unable to renew a contract with Democracy Prep this school year, we want to thank them for their service and efforts these past two years,” McKee says in a press release.
The disagreement between the two groups centered on fees for services provided by Democracy Prep. A spokesperson from RIMA says the organization wanted to increase those fees, something the RIMA board decided it could not afford.
McKee says the Cumberland school, which is now an elementary and a middle school on two campuses, will stay open under the oversight of current Elementary School Principal Jeremy Chiappetta.
“We will continue to provide our parents and students with a high-quality educational model they expect and deserve,” McKee says.