Charter school advocates packed the statehouse rotunda Wednesday to urge lawmakers to continue their support for charter schools.
A statehouse panel is considering changes that could decrease funding for charter schools. Jeremy Chiappetta from Blackstone Valley Prep Mayoral Academy said families should have choices when it comes to public school.
“We are looking to continue to grow a high quality public school sector that includes charter schools, state run schools, independent schools and certainly traditional public schools,.” Chiappetta said.
Blackstone Valley Prep, a mayoral academy based in Cumberland, will receive $2.2 million from the Charter School Growth fund to help pay for a planned expansion. Blackstone Valley Prep currently runs two elementary schools and a middle school, serving students from Cumberland, Central Falls, Pawtucket and Lincoln.
Standardized testing is underway in Rhode Island public schools, where students take the New England Common Assessment Program or NECAP every October. The tests of math and reading are administered to grades 3-8 and 11 between October 1st and the 23rd. This year some 4,000 12th graders are also taking the test and must improve their scores to meet the state’s controversial new test-based graduation requirement.
Blackstone Valley Prep Mayoral Academy said it’s thrilled the state’s Board of Education has renewed its charter for another five years. The charter school will operate three schools in the coming school year, serving students in Lincoln, Cumberland, Central Falls and Pawtucket. Blackstone Valley Prep’s Jen LoPiccolo said the Board of Education cleared the way for expansion of up to seven schools.