Raimondo says she’d veto bill to restrict charter schools

Source: Matt O’Brien, Associated Press, April 6, 2016

Gov. Gina Raimondo said Wednesday she would veto a bill proposed by Rhode Island lawmakers that would restrict the growth of charter schools. The Democrat told reporters that the bill requiring approval from every city or town that sends students to a new or expanded charter school would “have the practical effect of killing charters.” The House passed the bill 60-11 in January but the Senate hasn’t voted on it. The governor has never vetoed a bill since taking office last year. Democratic lawmakers who introduced the charter school bill and others like it this year have said they’re trying to protect traditional school districts. State aid follows each student who attends a charter school but the schools often don’t bear the same costs as traditional school districts. … Raimondo also said she hopes a new plan to give traditional public schools more say in their operations will boost the state’s lowest-performing schools. Education Commissioner Ken Wagner detailed the plan to create what’s called empowerment schools in a speech to the General Assembly last week. … But teacher unions are skeptical of the plan that they believe could deny teachers their due process rights.