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Chafee calls charters “just one part of improving public education”

August 16, 2011

In a statement, Governor Lincoln Chafee offers the following as a response to those calling on him to support more mayoral academies:

Throughout my career in public service I have been a strong advocate for public education. I have been and continue to be committed to making the necessary investments to ensure that all of our schools are performing well and preparing the young people ofRhode Island for a promising future. That is why my budget fully funded the new funding formula for K-12 education and proposed 10 million additional dollars for higher education.

There are currently 16 charter schools operating in the State of Rhode Island. The latest is the Nurses Institute Middle College Charter School (RINI), which was recently approved. Classes there are set to start on September 7 and the school will help address Rhode Island’s growing nursing shortage and create jobs in the growing health care industry.

There is considerable local opposition to the establishment of a mayoral academy in Cranston. The Superintendent, the elected City Council, and the elected School Committee were all in opposition. Numerous parents also attended public hearings to voice their considerable concerns.

I believe that Rhode Island’s public education system is good, but it can be better. Charter schools are just one piece of improving public education in our state. For that reason, where and how we establish charter schools must be a strategic process.

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