opinion Newport Rhode Island

Building Newport’s Future (BNF) is celebrating the fact that Newport voters chose to reject Question 5, which would have passed a measure to combine Newport and Middletown school district administrations.

BNF was founded by a group of Newporters who care deeply about Newport’s children and advocate for a strong public education system and investment in education infrastructure. BNF knows how much Newport voters care about public education. 

“In 2020, Newport voted overwhelmingly to approve the school construction bond for an addition to Pell Elementary and a brand new Rogers High School, at a 52.5% reimbursement rate from the Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE),” said Amy Machado, President of BNF. “The Pell construction is now complete and the Rogers build is underway, exemplifying that great things are happening in the City by the Sea. Building Newport’s Future will continue this fantastic momentum by advocating and fighting for Newport’s children and public schools in the near- and long-term.” 

BNF considered Question 5 to be an insincere attempt at regionalization with a flawed process behind it and noted that city leaders eschewed transparency and rejected legitimate input from public school parents, students, and teachers. 

“We are very excited that the Reject vote won the day.” said Aida Neary, Vice President of BNF. “As we have always said, we are not against regionalization. We were against a plan that circumvented normal RIDE rules and was going to cement 30 to 50 years of separate facilities. RIDE made it very clear that they will always listen to local school districts, and we look forward to future conversation about actual regionalization.” 

“We want to thank our amazing volunteers, without whom we could not have succeeded,” said Machado. “Having boots on the ground, with impassioned volunteers knocking on doors and educating their fellow citizens is what really made the difference in this election. Newport voters came out and saw the plan for what it was: a financial scheme with no positive educational outcomes for Newport’s children. We know that there is no singular solution to improve educational outcomes and opportunities for our students. We hope that our supporters and the entire community will continue to show up for our students.”

About Building Newport’s Future 

Building Newport’s Future is a grassroots organization of parents, students, teachers, Roger’s High School graduates, and community members who support Newport Public Schools. For more information, visit www.buildingnewportsfuture.org.

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