Newport Public Schools
Newport Public Schools

With less than two weeks to the election, many in Newport and Middletown aren’t focused as much on candidates, as they are on the referendum for regionalizing schools, which can dramatically change the course of education on Aquidneck Island for generations. 

Colleen Burns Jermain, Newport Superintendent of Schools, joins What’sUpNewp on Wednesday, October 26 at 1:30 pm for her monthly live virtual video conversation with us. Undoubtedly our main focus will be regionalization.

We will want to clarify finances, and how the communities will and can use the money saved in debt service. Middletown stands to save some $47 million, Newport some $46 million as the Rhode Island Department of Education increases its aid to 80 percent for each community, from what would have maxed out at about 50 percent.

We’ll also ask about governance, potentially merging facilities, and what’s now been reported, interest from Portsmouth to join the party.

There are other issues, of course, and we’ll want to hear from the superintendent about how schools are going in general, the impact of the renovated Pell building, special programs, and whether this election season has become a topic in civics classes. 

Test scores, reportedly down across the nation due to COVID, are also an issue, and we’ll want to know how well the school system is progressing in helping students catch up.

Frank Prosnitz

Frank Prosnitz brings to WhatsUpNewp several years in journalism, including 10 as editor of the Providence (RI) Business News and 14 years as a reporter and bureau manager at the Providence (RI) Journal....