By Elisabeth Harrison
Providence, R.I. – State education officials learned Monday they will get nearly $2.4 million from the Obama Administration to start more charter schools in Rhode Island. By September there will be 15 charter schools operating in the state. The goal is to significantly increase that number over the next three years, particularly in urban districts.
Critics of charter schools say they take money away from regular public schools, which educate the vast majority of Rhode Island school children. Several large-scale national studies have shown that some charter schools get impressive results, but on average they are no better than local public schools. In some cases, the studies found they may be worse.
Rhode Island recently raised the limit on charter schools to allow as many as 36 to operate statewide. State officials say they will use part of the grant to increase quality controls on charter schools.