Aerial view of Rogers High School in 2016. Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License

The following statement was issued by the Newport Democratic City Committee.

Most people recognize that the vibrancy of any community is related to the vitality of its school system. You don’t have to have a child or grandchild in school to appreciate that an investment in education provides the pathway to success for each, succeeding generation. This investment results in future leaders and stewards of the community.

So, it is crucial that students are provided with every opportunity to succeed. Voters in Newport will be asked in the November 3 Election to decide whether or not to support a $106.3 Million Bond that would pay for the construction of a critically-needed, new Rogers High School and an expansion of Pell Elementary School,

Both projects have been subject to extensive study and have received the support of the Newport School Committee, Newport City Council, RI Department of Education, various education groups, numerous interested parties, candidates for elective office, teachers, parents, and students.

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The Newport Democratic Committee strongly urges Newport voters to vote in favor of this bond. 

The alternative is, in no way, good. Repairs to Rogers alone would reportedly cost about $72M. We know that kicking the can down the road is not a good strategy because we know that Rogers won’t be able to meet building standards to house a high school much longer. Then, there is the problem of accommodating the kids who need a space at Pell. Where would they go? 

In addition, the incentive that the RI Department of Education provides now for school construction, meaning a higher rate of state reimbursement, will not always be there.

More importantly, what are we saying to our kids about how much we care about the atmosphere in which they are to learn? Can we say we have given them all the tools that they need to have an accomplished academic career? Have we encouraged them enough to become life-time learners?

We already know that disaster almost certainly follows when a kid doesn’t finish high school. The conditions at Rogers are not only a distraction; they are unhealthy. Pell is an excellent facility, but needs more space for primary grade students. 

So, please vote in favor of the School Bond in the November Election! We will all benefit from this investment.

J. Clement Cicilline

Chair