opinion Newport Rhode Island

I am a parent of young children in Newport and am highly invested in our public schools.  I have attended several public meetings discussing the proposal to regionalize Newport and Middletown schools. 

While I would be thrilled to support a plan to unify our two small school systems; to create opportunities to expand AP courses, world languages, extracurricular activities, and educational programming; and to introduce our children to further diversity and inclusion; this is not that plan.  In each of the public meetings, only one known fact is made clear: the plan will save money and in particular, money for Middletown. 

Where will that money be allocated?  Without a combined high school, how will expanded educational opportunities become a possibility?  Not even three years ago, The Middletown Town Council demeaned the people and children of Newport, avidly rejecting a proposal to even discuss the potential of school regionalization. 

Should my school committee be 50 percent composed of Middletown public servants, how am I to trust that my children and my neighbors’ children’s best interests will be attended to?  I urge my fellow Newport residents to consider the risks and benefits of this proposed “regionalization.”  Without any known or direct benefits to our students and with a list of legitimate concerns, I am certain I cannot vote to support this plan.

Liz Barron, Newport resident

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