What is School Choice?
How does it work?
School Choice, why does it matter to me? You may say “Our School District isn’t that bad” and you would be right, but it doesn’t stop there. What is wrong in Providence, Pawtucket, and Central Falls will reverberate in Rhode Island for decades to come and will cost you millions.
How can this be, you may ask? We can start with the School Funding Formula. Currently you are paying both Income and Sales tax to the State who then turns around and sends some of that money back to our School Districts. However, they don’t do so evenly, they send more money per student to Providence, Pawtucket, and Central Falls then to Bristol/Warren or Tiverton. If that money is pouring into a failing school district, it’s simply a waste of your tax dollars. Underneath this video is a link to the Johns Hopkins Department of Education’s Independent study titled “Providence Public School District: A Review” a dismal, heartbreaking report that outlines that the Providence School System is just failing, it’s failing miserably. I’ll read just a few outtakes;
o The great majority of students are not learning on, or even near, grade level.
o With rare exception, teachers are demoralized and feel unsupported.
o Most parents feel shut out of their children’s education.
o Principals find it very difficult to demonstrate leadership.
o Many school buildings are deteriorating across the city, and some are even dangerous to students’ and teachers’ wellbeing.
Does this sound like a School District we, as a State, have been pouring money into? In 2018 the Bristol Warren Regional School District was given $14.1 Million by the State, and Tiverton got $6,5 million. Providence got nearly $246 million dollars, Pawtucket nearly $89 million, and Central Falls got $0 million. I understand the need for under privileged neighborhoods to be given more, but then I also expect that it would start to help, which the Johns Hopkins Report clearly shows it’s not.
Another reason why you and I should pay closer attention to what the performance of these failing schools are is the decades of dependence a failed education will bring. Without an education, these children are much more likely to be on Welfare, Medicaid, and other Social Services, that cost us dearly already and will only continue to go up.
Lastly, with School Choice, the money follows the child. The State of Rhode Island will be sending the money earmarked for that underprivileged student to Bristol/Warren/Tiverton. A student in Bristol/Warren receives about $4,400 each year, a student in Tiverton receives $3,500, but a student from Providence gets $10,400. If a student choose to attend Bristol/Warren or Tiverton, that money would be coming here instead of back into a failing school. That money can be spent improving our schools or taken as property tax relief.
Either way, our schools, our community, and each individual tax payer benefits by School Choice, both today and tomorrow. School Choice is the way of the future. Join me in supporting School Choice.