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Charter advocates renew push for Achievement First

August 16, 2011

Supporters of a proposed charter school system for students in Cranston and Providence will make their case today at the Statehouse.

Critics have raised concerns that new schools would drain resources away from regular public schools. Advocates including Cranston Mayor Alan Fung dispute this claim.

Both Providence and Cranston are likely to see public school funding increase under the state’s new formula for distributing education aid – one of the reasons charter school advocates say district schools are not likely to feel the loss of per-student funding that comes when families chose charter schools.

School reform advocates say they also plan to use today’s press conference to outline concerns about Governor Lincoln Chafee’s lukewarm stance on charter schools. The group Rhode Island Mayoral Academies warns that Rhode Island could lose millions of dollars in federal grant funding if it renegs on a promise to open more charter schools.

The state Board of Regents for Elementary and Secondary Education has been coy about whether it will support the controversial application for a series of charter schools to be run by charter manager Achievement First. Advocates are hoping for a vote at the board’s next meeting in September.

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