PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Rhode Island’s capital will soon be home to three new charter schools.
Over the course of a two-hour-long virtual public hearing, more than a dozen people spoke for and against the new schools but in the end, Rhode Island’s Council on Elementary and Secondary Education gave the schools the green light.
Excel Academy, Nuestro Mundo Public Charter School, and Providence Preparatory Charter School will be allowed to operate for a maximum term of five years.
Nuestro Mundo and Providence Prep are set to open in the upcoming school year, while Excel is expected to open the following year.
Supporters of the new schools say the charters give families more choices and help better serve students.
“We know what the status quo has done in the past. We have to move forward with these charter schools that are giving our kids opportunities,” council member Jo Eva Gaines said.
However, those who oppose the expansion of charter schools say it would take away millions in funding from traditional district schools.
“I want to make sure we’re not losing programs that we should be actually extending, expanding in the city of Providence,” council member Colleen Callahan said.
The decision in the city comes as debate over charter schools continues at the state house.
A moratorium on expanding charter schools has already passed the senate, but is a bill that Gov. Dan McKee has told 12 News he opposes.