opinion Newport Rhode Island

Having been a resident of Middletown for decades, a parent of two recent Middletown High School graduates and an educator in the community, I am passionate and optimistic about the opportunities before us today and our responsibility to positively impact the future.

As a member of both the Middletown School Committee and the Middletown School Building Committee, I will be supporting and voting YES on the November 8th ballot questions regarding Regionalization and the School Bond. With terminology getting a lot of attention right now and misconceptions about defining regionalization, clarification is needed. According to the passed legislation, regionalization is not the unification or the consolidation of our schools right now. It is the two districts joining forces to share administrative functions and governance, and moving forward, the options are wide open.

The regionalized district will share services, be provided with incredible financial incentives and amazing opportunities for students, educators and the Newport and Middletown communities as a whole. Right now we have the historic opportunity and ability to establish and design our schools for the future. Yes, it will take a lot of hard work, dedication, trust, compromise and good faith to create a new, efficient and successful regional district where students will have greater access to comprehensive educational and extracurricular programming. We can not let semantics or fear stand in the way of change and growth. With expanded strong and vibrant courses of study, greater access to career pathway programs, additional art and athletic options, increased after school programs, and a universal Pre-K, students will benefit today and in the future.

The financial incentives are unparalleled and the educational possibilities are limitless with the benefits to our children and community waiting to be realized. We, as voters, have the exciting and unique ability to make this incredible opportunity for regionalization between Middletown and Newport Public Schools a reality by voting YES on Ballot Questions #4 and #5 in Middletown and Question #5 in Newport. Please join me in voting to optimize the financial resources available today to ensure a high quality education for all of our students.

It is not the time to continually deliberate over the definition of regionalization. It is the time for forward thinking and a positive vision to ensure that our schools are the best they can be today and in the future. 

Tami Holden, Middletown resident

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