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A vote on Achievement First?

July 20, 2011

Not this week!

The Board of Regents has put the Achievement First application on its agenda for thursday, but only as a discussion item. The board will not meet again until September.

Board Chair George Caruolo did not respond to my query as to why the Regents continue to put off this vote. A spokesman for the Rhode Island Mayoral Academies, which helped recruite Achievement First to the state, says RIMA is somewhat frustrated by the delay, but the group mainly wants to make sure the board has all the facts in order to make an informed decision.

Teachers, Cranston school administrators and some parents who have advocated against the new charter school may cheer to see the decision further delayed. They have argued that public funding would be better spent shoring up existing public school programs, rather than approving applications to open two new elementary schools.

In related news, Rhode Island chapter of Democrats for Education Reform has sent a letter to Governor Lincoln Chafee reminding him that the state could put $9.6 million in federal funding at risk if it does not pick up the pace of opening new charter schools. The grant calls for the state to double the number of charter schools over a three-year period. According to DFER, that would mean bringing four to five new charter schools on line in the 2011-2012 school year just to stay on track.

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