Achievement First renews battle for mayoral academy
Mayor Angel Taveras and charter manager Achievement First have submitted an application for two new elementary schools, starting with a Kindergarten and first grade in 2013. The charter schools would serve students from Providence, Cranston, Warwick and North Providence, but organizers say more than half the students would likely come from Providence.
That may be a tough pill for some Providence parents, who protested the closure of several neighborhood schools this year due to budget cuts. State officials rejected a similar proposal from Achievement First in Cranston, following protests from some parents, city and school officials.
In Providence, the school board backed the first Achievement First application, though some parent and teacher groups opposed it. The Providence City Clerk says Councilor Bryan Principe plans to introduce a resolution Thursday calling for a fiscal impact study of the latest Achievement First proposal.
Principe has also called for the council to reject the concept of mayoral academies, a special type of charter school exempt from prevailing wage laws and state pension contributions. That resolution was referred to committee for further study.
Charter Manager Achievement First has expressed interest in building network of charter schools in Rhode Island that would eventually include middle schools and a high school. The group says for now it will focus on getting approval from state education officials for the first the two elementary schools.