opinion Newport Rhode Island

By Citizens Exploring School Unification

CESU (Citizens Exploring School Unification) announced today that 1,183 signatures of registered Middletown voters have been certified by Middletown Town officials. As a result, the Middletown Town Council will now be required to take up a proposed ordinance creating a Regional School District Planning Committee to study the benefits of creating a regional school district with Newport. (Proposed ordinance below).

Dick Adams, President of CESU, stated “the citizens of Middletown have spoken. Exceeding the 10% signature requirement of registered Middletown voters during a historic pandemic is an extraordinary accomplishment that speaks volumes about what Middletown voters want.”

The proposed ordinance was required so that the Town Council can either approve, revise or have the voters decide in the November election as to the advisability of establishing a regional school district. Newport officials and voters, meanwhile, have long supported unification with Middletown. Following the results of the collaborative study and plan, both Newport and Middletown voters would approve or reject regionalization.

“The school unification equation has just changed for both communities with this significant expression of support evidenced by Middletown voters. CESU has worked to bring people together to improve the educational outcomes of our students, to be mindful of using limited resources wisely and to bring common sense to the table,” said Adams. “The potential educational and financial benefits to both communities are too promising to ignore.”

Adams then asked that “our elected leaders, community leaders and educators leaders come together, roll up their sleeves, disregard parochialism, apply common sense and do the work the voters have demanded. CESU has helped open the door to creating a Newport Middletown Unified High School. We now need our elected leaders to exercise genuine leadership for the sake of our students and our taxpayers.”

CESU expressed gratitude to our supporters and the many citizens who signed the petition and attended our Forums which were co-sponsored by Newport This Week.

For more information on CESU including background information on regionalization go to http://www.cesu.news/