HEW Approves Charter School Bill

Jan 20, 2016

The House Committee on Health, Education and Welfare has passed a bill that would make it harder to open new charter schools in Rhode Island.

The bill requires approval from the city or town council of any municipality that would send students to the proposed school. Current state law requires approval only from the State Department of Education.

Charter school leaders have said the bill will curtail the growth of charter schools, especially those that serve multiple cities and towns.

But some local school and town officials have raised concerns about the financial impact of charter schools.

A recent report from a working group convened by Governor Gina Raimondo to review the way Rhode Island distributes funding to public schools, highlighted some inequities in funding. The report found that traditional public schools are providing some services that charter schools do not provide, including the majority of support for severely disabled students and screenings for preschool children.