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It appears school merger talks are on again between Middletown and Newport officials, and now we’d like to learn more. Newport School Superintendent Colleen Burns Jermain joins WhatsUpNewp for her monthly videocast tomorrow (Wednesday) at 1:30 p.m.
We’ll ask for particulars as the two systems move toward what is being called a merger of “organizational function,” including the development of a new joint School Committee. The joint press release from both communities suggests that each would retain independence on some level but combine on others.
It also says talks are at a preliminary stage.
Interestingly, the press release says discussions are being held with “experts” from the Rhode Island Department of Education, Newport City Manager Joe Nicholson, and Middletown Town Manager Shawn J. Brown, Are the school professionals, school committees, town and city councils involved in the conversation?
The Middletown Town Council rejected any suggestion of a merger in the past. What’s changed that has sparked renewed interest in mergers?
We’ll also ask the superintendent whether Newport has gotten caught up in the book banning controversy that has gripped other Rhode Island school districts, how kids in school are catching up on learning that was lost during the epidemic, and progress on the building projects.
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