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NEW: School Choice Legislation to be Introduced for Education Savings Accounts for RI Families

Thursday, March 05, 2015

 

Rep. Hull

A bipartisan group of Rhode Island legislators has announced their plans to introduce the Bright Today Scholarship and Open Enrollment and Education Act to establish Education Savings Accounts (ESAs) to allow Rhode Island families to have increased opportunities for school choice. 

State Representatives Raymond Hull (D) and Mike Chippendale (R), along with State Senators Marc Cote (D) and Nicholas Kettle (R) have introduced their intention to introduce legislation to provide two ways for families to enroll children in schools of their choice, by either publicly funded scholarships to private schools in the form ESAs or open enrollment, by being able to enroll in another school.  

"Education is everyone's issue, not 'Republicans'," not 'Democrats'," said Hull at a press conference at the State House. "We're doing to ask [parents] be be involved in their children's education. It's a start to a bright horizon."

Nuts and Bolts

According to a policy brief published by the RI Center for Freedom and Prosperity, fiscal projections included: "no new taxes or fees are required to fund the scholarship program; funding per pupil in public schools will increase by an average of $299; most public school districts will see net fiscal savings - over $16 million statewide in first year; many public schools are

likely to see increased academic outcomes; and projected 2-3% participation rated of students."

"Many hard working families are unable to afford the tuition at private schools that may best meet the needs of their children," said Rabbi Peretz Scheinerman of the Providence Hebrew Day School. "This educational choice legislation can give hope to those families. It's time for Rhode Island to join the many other states who are implementing similar reforms."

The legislation is modeled after the Arizona ESA legislation of 2011, and would include universal eligibility and income-adjusted scholarships, and scholarship students would still be counted towards the public school district's enrollment. 

To read more on the issue brief on the Center for Freedom's website, go to RIFreedom.com/EdChoiceRI.

 

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