opinion Newport Rhode Island

My Christmas wish and New Year’s dream for school regionalization between Newport and Middletown are to establish a Regional School District containing a unified high school located in a central geographic area with a career technical center attached or adjacent.  

Suggestions as to how this can become a reality:

FIRST:  STOP current plans aimed at building two separate high schools!  It does not make $cents$ nor does it greatly improve the educational and career opportunities for our students. 

SECOND:   Will both school superintendents along with the heads of our two school committees, the Mayor of Newport, the city manager, the Council Chair of Middletown and town manager carefully open a “pending” Christmas gift (I sincerely hope and wish) from the State Legislature and the R.I. Department of Education (RIDE) providing both communities a second chance to get things RIGHT by a) approving a delay in current school building plans, b) allowing each community to vote again on school regionalization and c) offering 80% reimbursement on new school building construction plans, if the two communities get it RIGHT with fast-track planning.

THIRD:  Immediately establish a joint community-based Educational Planning Committee to a) examine all aspects of school regionalization, b) agree on a plan to move forward and c) prepare guardrails and guidelines to be followed by the new school regional committee and school administration. Present this plan ASAP to the voters and RIDE for approval.

PLEASE, Newport and Middletown, for the benefit of our children and our economic future, make this wish and dream for school regionalization come true.

Ron Héroux