Newport Public Schools
Newport Public Schools

Education won in Rhode Island yesterday, except perhaps in Newport.

Bond issues for school construction in seven communities passed overwhelmingly. Regionalization failed in Newport, scuttling the yes votes for regionalization and school construction in Middletown. The vote against regionalization in Newport was close, 52.8 percent against regionalization with Middletown, and 47.2 percent for regionalization.

Middletown voters approved regionalization with 64.5 percent and a $235 million school building with 73.9 percent. But those votes were contingent on Newport’s approval of regionalization.

Meanwhile, school building projects won big throughout Rhode Island:

  • Westerly voters overwhelmingly approved a $50 million bond to build a new elementary school and renovate two others. Two previous bond issues had failed.
  • Providence with 90 percent approval for a $125 million bond for elementary and high school renovations.
  • Pawtucket voters overwhelmingly approved a $330 million bond to build its first new high school in 80 years. The school will be built at the McCoy stadium site.
  • North Providence voters also overwhelmingly approved a $125 million bond for construction and renovations to elementary schools and the high school.
  • East Providence voters, who a few years approved a bond to build a new high school, which has received exceptional reviews across the state, have approved overwhelming a $148 million bond to renovate and expand the middle school, Martin pre-k, and renovation to Waddington Elementary School.
  • Warwick, where many were projecting the school bond would fail, approved a $350 million bond to replace Pilgrim and Toll Gate High Schools.