School Funding Proposals in Spotlight Tomorrow

Thursday, May 13, 2010


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The House Finance Committee will hold a hearing tomorrow on three proposals for a funding formula for public schools in Rhode Island.

The hearing will open at 11:30 a.m. in Room 35 in the basement level of the State House. It will be broadcast on Channel 15 for Cox and Full Channel subscribers and Channel 34 for Verizon subscribers.  

All three bills base the formula at least in part on a per-pupil cost of education. One, 2010-H 7123, would begin with the per-pupil cost and increase funding for poorer students. It would calculate the amount of state aid according to the community’s ability to pay. The bill is sponsored by Arthur Corvese, a Democrat from North Providence.

2010-H 7555 also starts with a base amount and would adjust it for special education students, English-language learners, those in the free or reduced lunch program, and those enrolled in vocational programs. The bill is sponsored by Edith Ajello, a Democrat representing the East Side of Providence.

2010-H 8094 proposes a formula based on a $8,295 per-pupil cost for regular students and $11,600 for those in low-income households. The amount of state aid would be calculated by multiplying the per-pupil cost by the number of students and adjusting for how poor or wealthy the community is. The bill which is sponsored by committee Chairman Steven Costantino, a Democrat from Providence, is supported by the Rhode Island Department of Education.


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