January 10th, 2013 at 12:54 pm by Ted Nesi under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site
You don’t have to like Michelle Rhee to find value in the report card on Rhode Island education policy that her organization Students First released this week.
Rhee, the polarizing former Washington schools chancellor, is a strong advocate for changes such as charter schools and pay-for-performance that aren’t popular with supporters of traditional K-12. Her group gave Rhode Island a C+ on the report card, one of the best grades in the nation.
“Rhode Island is a leader in education reform by prioritizing great teaching and using resources wisely to raise student achievement,” the report card says. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Students First’s major criticism is that Rhode Island law limits the number of public charters that can be opened.
Check out the Rhode Island report card here – whether you buy Rhee’s prescriptions or not, it provides an overview of what policies Rhode Island has in place right now. (There’s also a four-page PDF version.)
December 11th, 2012 at 5:00 am by Ted Nesi under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site
A new study will give ammunition to those who say local teachers unions wield significant power in Rhode Island.
The two organizations – the National Education Association Rhode Island and the smaller Rhode Island Federation of Teachers and Health Professionals – are the fifth-strongest teachers unions in the United States based on a range of measures, according to an analysis [pdf] by the Thomas P. Fordham Institute and Education Reform Now, the nonprofit wing of Democrats for Education Reform.
The four states ranked as having stronger teachers unions than Rhode Island were Hawaii, Oregon, Montana and Pennsylvania. Connecticut ranked 17th and Massachusetts ranked 21st.
The authors say the study “represents the most comprehensive analysis of American teacher unions’ strength ever conducted,” and it suggests the Rhode Island unions’ are more involved in politics and have more resources than most of their counterparts elsewhere in the country.
November 25th, 2012 at 5:00 am by Ted Nesi under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site
November 5th, 2012 at 1:50 pm by Ted Nesi under Nesi's Notes
By Tim White
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Rhode Island teachers were absent from school more than their colleagues anywhere else in the country, according to a study released Monday by the Center for American Progress that examined data from the 2009-10 school year.
Read the rest of this story »
October 31st, 2012 at 5:59 pm by Ted Nesi under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site
By Ted Nesi and Tim White
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Gov. Lincoln Chafee faces a decidedly uphill battle if he opts to run for a second term in two years, according to an exclusive WPRI 12 poll released Wednesday night.
The survey of 601 likely voters also finds nearly two-thirds of Rhode Islanders think the state is unfriendly to business but three in five are satisfied with the quality of their local school district.
Read the rest of this story »
Coming up at 11 p.m.: Obama vs. Romney in Rhode Island
October 16th, 2012 at 2:29 pm by Ted Nesi under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site
As recently as 2004, more than 8% of Brown University freshmen had family members who’d attended the Ivy League school before them. And the university’s recently departed president sees no reason to change that, Chrystia Freeland writes in The New York Times (emphasis mine):
At the bottom and in the middle, American society is fraying, and the children of these struggling families are lagging the rest of the world at school. …
Educational attainment, which created the American middle class, is no longer rising. The super-elite lavishes unlimited resources on its children, while public schools are starved of funding. … An elite education is increasingly available only to those already at the top. Bill Clinton and Barack Obama enrolled their daughters in an exclusive private school; I’ve done the same with mine.
At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, earlier this year, I interviewed Ruth Simmons, then the president of Brown. She was the first African-American to lead an Ivy League university and has served on the board of Goldman Sachs. Dr. Simmons, a Harvard-trained literature scholar, worked hard to make Brown more accessible to poor students, but when I asked whether it was time to abolish legacy admissions, the Ivy League’s own Book of Gold, she shrugged me off with a laugh: “No, I have a granddaughter. It’s not time yet.”
October 2nd, 2012 at 5:35 pm by Ted Nesi under Nesi's Notes
By Tim White
PROVIDENCE R.I. (WPRI) – A Superior Court judge upheld the 2006 termination of Providence teacher Bernard McCrink, saying a state law that requires school districts to terminate teachers by March 1 may be an “undue burden,” but it’s up to the General Assembly to rewrite the statute.
Read the rest of this story »
September 5th, 2012 at 11:09 am by Ted Nesi under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site
Just 13 states have increased school spending since 2008, a new study shows – and Rhode Island is one of them.
Despite five-and-a-half years of economic malaise, Rhode Island boosted K-12 spending by $137 per student between 2007-08 and 2012-13, according to the study by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities in Washington. That’s a five-year increase of 2.7% after inflation.
Much of that extra money just arrived.
The study shows Rhode Island hiked per-student education spending by an inflation-adjusted 9.5% this fiscal year, a bigger percentage increase than any other state. Spending is up $452 per student in Rhode Island for the 2012-13 school year.
Rhode Island adopted a new education-funding formula in June 2010 to allocate K-12 money to school districts, ending its run as the only state in the nation without such a formula. The previous formula had been abolished 15 years before.
“Research from all over the country has shown that low incomes tend to be linked to more expensive services in schools,” Senate Education Committee Chairwoman Hanna Gallo said at the time. “This formula recognizes that link and addresses that challenge. This formula ensures that each school district gets the funding it needs to support its students.”
Education Commissioner Deborah Gist, who was appointed by Governor Carcieri and retained by Governor Chafee, was one of the leading advocates for the new formula. This past June, lawmakers agreed to allocate extra money to the education formula as proposed by Chafee and Gist.
• Related: Moody’s praises RI school funding hike, warns on Woonsocket (June 27)
July 19th, 2012 at 11:36 am by Ted Nesi under Nesi's Notes
By Ted Nesi
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The Rhode Island School of Design has agreed to more than double its voluntary payments to the city in exchange for a semi-exclusive right to parking spaces around its campus, Providence Mayor Angel Taveras announced Thursday.
Read the rest of this story »
Update: Taveras spokesman David Ortiz sends along the following list of parking spaces to which RISD will now get “semi-exclusive access”:
[T]he spots include six parking spaces on Fulton Street where parking is currently prohibited; four parking spaces on Westminster Street where parking is currently prohibited; four parking spaces on Meeting Street; 16 parking spaces on the east side of South Water Street; 20 nonexclusive parking spaces on the west side of South Water Street; four parking spaces on Middle Street; five parking spaces on Washington Street; six parking spaces on Benefit Street between Waterman and Meeting Streets; and five exclusive parking spaces on Benefit Street between College Hill and Waterman Street (the Benefit Street spots are mid-block to preserve on-street parking to accommodate the Court House and local businesses).
July 12th, 2012 at 5:00 am by Ted Nesi under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site
Ted Nesi is on assignment.
By Jason P. Becker
At the center of Woonsocket’s spiral into fiscal uncertainty is a massive deficit at its public schools that seemingly emerged from the ether this winter. The school system wound up short almost $10 million over the last two years despite having a business manager repeatedly declare that the schools were running a surplus.
Faced with a massive deficit and the demise of a supplemental tax increase at the hands of the city’s legislative delegation, an already underfunded school system is looking to cut even further. Some in Woonsocket have been asserting that a lack of state support for the Woonsocket Public Schools has led to its precarious budget situation. Indeed, the city has joined Pawtucket in a lawsuit seeking to force the state to accelerate the planned funding increases to Woonsocket as part of a new education aid funding formula enacted in June 2010.
Is it true that Woonsocket schools can blame a lack of state support for its insufficient revenues?
July 3rd, 2012 at 5:00 am by Ted Nesi under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site
Ted Nesi is off. He’ll return on Friday.
By Maryellen Butke
“Education has to be the one issue that we put politics and ideology aside.”
Famous words spoken by U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan during the 2010 elections and certainly words that ring true in Rhode Island today. When I became the executive director of RI-CAN: The Rhode Island Campaign for Achievement Now, I had just left an eight-year tenure as a school administrator at The Met School in Providence. Known for its progressive approach to learning, The Met is where I first began my work in education. Before that, I was a parent and a professional whose daughter was struggling in her public school. When I walked my daughter into the Paul Cuffee Public Charter School in Providence, my passion for education reform was born.
I have never considered my views on education liberal or conservative. Though a lifelong progressive, it never occurred to me that teaching and learning in public schools was a partisan issue. At its core, education reform is about improving educational outcomes for kids. How could anyone – Democrat or Republican – disagree with that?
June 27th, 2012 at 11:41 am by Ted Nesi under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site
The 2012-13 state budget Governor Chafee signed into law last week will help Rhode Island municipalities and school districts by providing $34 million in new education funding, Moody’s Investors Service says.
The nearly 4% hike in state aid for K-12 schools is the third annual increase in a row and “a credit positive for both school districts and for cities and towns,” Moody’s analysts wrote in a research note Tuesday. “State funding for education now stands at over $900 million, well above the pre-recession peak,” they said.
However, Moody’s said the impact isn’t uniform across the state because of the new school funding formula. Barrington will get the biggest increase in education aid in 2012-13 at 42%, while the Chariho school district will suffer the biggest drop, losing 14%. Non-education aid will be flat after plunging since 2007.
Moody’s also noted lawmakers’ $2.6 million appropriation to offset some of the deep cuts in Central Falls’ pension benefits will help that city emerge from bankruptcy, but expressed concern about the failure of a proposed supplemental tax sought by cash-strapped Woonsocket.
The failure to enact any laws to stabilize the 36 locally run pension plans also drew concern. “Members of the legislature have publicly stated that they intend to take up local pension reform, but the delay into the next legislative year highlights the significant political hurdles they’ll have to surmount,” Moody’s wrote.
(chart: Moody’s Investors Service)
June 5th, 2012 at 11:25 am by Ted Nesi under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site
As part of its terrific “Restoration Calls” series, Catherine Hollander reports for National Journal on how the community college in Walla Walla, Washington, worked with the region’s burgeoning wine industry to give local residents the skills to make the sector a success story.
Hollander emphasizes the importance of having local employers partner with local educational institutions – especially community colleges – to match the skills being taught with the skills businesses need, something Congressman Langevin has been spending a lot of time on in Rhode Island of late. An excerpt:
Early studies suggest that community colleges with close connections to local labor markets are the most successful at getting students into the workforce, says Michael Greenstone, director of the Hamilton Project, an economic-policy initiative at the Washington, D.C.-based Brookings Institution.
The data aren’t conclusive yet, but support for the idea is growing. In May, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development released a framework designed to help countries enhance their skills-training programs. The 109-page document describes the importance of partnerships with industry in areas ranging from curriculum design to apprenticeships.
“When employers are involved in designing curricula and delivering education programs at the post-secondary level, students seem to have a smoother transition from education into the labor market,” the OECD writes. “Workplace training also facilitates recruitment by allowing employers and potential employees to get to know each other, while trainees contribute to the output of the training firm. Workplace learning opportunities are also a direct expression of employers’ needs, as employers will be ready to offer opportunities in areas where there is a skills shortage.”
• Related: Study: RI won’t get back to pre-recession job count before 2018 (June 5)
June 4th, 2012 at 12:41 pm by Ted Nesi under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site
Rhode Island’s counties spend more on their public schools per student than most others in New England, according to a new analysis by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
Across the region, public education spending per pupil in 2011 ranged from $8,500 to $21,500. The average was $13,218 per student. Here’s a chart from the Fed’s Kaili Mauricio (click for a PDF):
(Note that the Fed’s Rhode Island data is for 2010. “Nevertheless, all Rhode Island counties are in the top two high-spending quintiles in this analysis,” Mauricio writes.)
Update: In a follow-up email, Mauricio shared per-pupil spending each Rhode Island county:
- Washington County: $15,955 (#4 in New England)
- Newport County: $15,754 (#6)
- Kent County: $15,036 (#7)
- Providence County: $14,847 (#8)
- Bristol County: $13,767 (#22)
Timothy Duffy, executive director of the Rhode Island Association of School Committees, comments that these numbers may be skewed by the fact that Rhode Island school districts pay 60% of the employer costs of teachers’ pensions, whereas districts in Massachusetts and Connecticut pay none of those costs.
April 6th, 2012 at 11:33 am by Ted Nesi under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site
Gina Macris writes in this morning Projo:
The Board of Governors is a legal entity separate from the state and has the authority to ratify labor agreements. But it cannot commit state funds to pay for them, Licht said.
That sounds a lot like what happened in Woonsocket and other cities where school committees approved labor contracts that, apparently, cost more than the amount of money available.
Shouldn’t these two functions be directly connected? Seems like if I had a credit card but someone else had to pay the bill, I might be less conscious of whether I could afford my spending. But feel free to convince me otherwise in the comments section.
April 5th, 2012 at 4:24 pm by Ted Nesi under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site
The national attention on Rhode Island’s fiscal crisis continues. Here’s Mike Cherney reporting for Dow Jones:
Struggling Rhode Island cities and towns faced with looming municipal-bond payment deadlines have received a helping hand from the state government: early payment of $70 million in state aid.
Cash for school construction is usually paid to state municipalities in two largely equal installments, at the end of April and October. But this year, the state sent the April payment one month early, on March 29, officials said, in anticipation of an April 1 deadline for payments on bonds issued to build schools. The payment was accelerated for all municipalities. …
Rhode Island’s move to accelerate the payments isn’t unprecedented, and states are more likely to accelerate such payments in times of fiscal strain, said John Hallacy, head of municipal research at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. However, it is unusual for a state to accelerate payments for all municipalities, as Rhode Island did with school construction aid, he said. …
“It’s one thing to ease a short-term situation, but I think it begs the question about what needs to be done for the longer haul,” Hallacy said. “Traditionally, a lot of folks were relying on economic recovery, and in the past it’s been a lot faster than it’s been developing now. And this has just made everybody so much more stressed.”
A bill in Governor Chafee’s proposed municipal aid package [pdf] would change when education aid is delivered. Basic education aid is currently handed out monthly; Chafee would distribute more cash would be front-loaded in July and August. School construction aid would be delivered as one lump sump in August.
• Related: RIPEC: Bankruptcy perilous for cities; pass Chafee’s bills first (April 2)
March 29th, 2012 at 10:15 am by Ted Nesi under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site
Education Commissioner Deborah Gist may be a little distracted come the middle of April.
That’s because the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education has scheduled Gist’s final defense of her doctoral thesis for April 20 at 1 p.m. in Philadelphia. The commissioner has been working on her doctorate throughout her time in Rhode Island, where she arrived in July 2009.
Gist, a student in the Mid-Career Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership, has titled her dissertation “An Ocean State Voyage: A Leadership Case Study of Creating an Evaluation System With, and For, Teachers.”
The new evaluation system, which is one of the main ways Rhode Island is using its $75 million federal Race to the Top grant, hasn’t made Gist popular with many public-school teachers in Rhode Island. The National Education Association Rhode Island’s Delegate Assembly last week asked her to delay the system’s implementation.
Before coming to Rhode Island, Gist was the state superintendent of education in Washington, D.C. She already holds a bachelor’s degree in early-childhood education from the University of Oklahoma and two master’s degrees, one in elementary education from the University of South Florida and another in public administration from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.
• Related: Watch ‘Newsmakers’ with Deborah Gist on education (Feb. 12)
An earlier headline on this post said Commissioner Gist is pursuing her Ph.D.; the degree is an Ed.D.
March 27th, 2012 at 4:34 pm by Ted Nesi under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site
Education Commissioner Deborah Gist has plenty of fans in Rhode Island, but few rank-and-file teachers are among them if a new poll commissioned by the state’s teachers unions is accurate.
Just 16% of public school teachers in Rhode Island had a favorable view of Gist’s job performance in January while 82% had a negative view, according to a survey of 401 teachers conducted by Fleming & Associates for the National Education Association Rhode Island and the Rhode Island Federation of Teachers and Health Professionals.
The commissioner was particularly unpopular with long-tenured teachers. Those with 20 years or more experience in the classroom gave Gist a favorable rating of only 9%, significantly below the 23% favorable rating she received from teachers with less than 10 years of experience. (Fleming also conducts polling for WPRI 12.)
The two unions did not provide the full survey results but said its margin of error was plus or minus 4 points. It emerged less than a week after NEARI’s Delegate Assembly unanimously passed a resolution calling on Gist to delay the full implementation of the state’s new teacher evaluation system.
March 16th, 2012 at 4:32 pm by Ted Nesi under General Talk
By Tim White
WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) – Thousands of alumni from Bishop Hendricken High School have received letters advising them of a pending bankruptcy case against the congregation that once ran the school, and setting a deadline for those who plan to file a sex abuse claim.
The first letter, signed by the president of the high school, was sent to Hendricken alumni who graduated between 1972 and 2011, when the Congregation of the Christian Brothers operated the all-male Catholic school.
“A federal court ruling pertaining to the allegations forced Bishop Hendricken’s administration to release our alumni list for the aforementioned years,” the Dec. 29, 2011, mailing stated. “You will be receiving a letter concerning allegations brought against some members of the congregation.”
Several months later alumni received an ominous form letter from a U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New York. It states The Christian Brothers Institute and the Christian Brothers of Ireland, Inc., filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on April 28, 2011. The letter then informs the reader of a deadline for those thinking of suing the Christian Brothers.
Read the rest of this story »
February 24th, 2012 at 6:00 am by Ted Nesi under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site
Rhode Island is near the bottom of the list when it comes to how many residents finished high school, according to new Census data released Thursday.
The Census reported 83.5% of Rhode Islanders had a high school diploma in 2010, which ranked ninth from the bottom among the 50 states. Wyoming was No. 1 at 92.3% and Massachusetts ranked 18th at 89.1%. California and Texas tied for last place at 80.7%.
The share of residents with a bachelor’s degree or higher was 30.2% in Rhode Island, which ranked 13th. Massachusetts was No. 1, with 39% of residents holding a bachelor’s or more. West Virginia was last at 17.5%.
Educational attainment is even lower across the broader Providence metropolitan area, which includes 1.6 million residents in Rhode Island and Bristol County, Mass.
The Census said 82.6% of Providence area residents were high school graduates in 2010, which was fifth from the bottom among the nation’s 50 most populous metropolitan areas. But 28.5% of the region’s residents had a bachelor’s degree or higher, which ranked 33rd. The Boston area ranked No. 4 and No. 5, respectively.
(map: U.S. Census Bureau)
February 10th, 2012 at 1:06 pm by Ted Nesi under Nesi's Notes
Rhode Island high school students saw their math scores drop but middle schoolers showed big gains in the high-stakes annual NECAP tests administered last year, Tim White reports. The results were released a few minutes ago. To see how your school district performed, check out WPRI.com’s full results page.
January 4th, 2012 at 6:00 am by Ted Nesi under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site
Education Sector’s Kevin Carey had a long and less-than-sympathetic profile in The New Republic recently looking at the career of Diane Ravitch, the iconoclastic education historian who’s influenced Governor Chafee’s views on K-12 reform. Ravitch has become a darling of the teachers unions for breaking with her former allies in the conservative movement on education policy:
When Ravitch first voiced enthusiastic support for private-school vouchers, they were largely untried. As she now observes, the results of long-term voucher experiments have been disappointing. Ten years after No Child Left Behind, a lot of children are still behind.
These are reasonable points. The problem is that Ravitch’s use of evidence to support her new positions is often dubious, selective, and inconsistent.
That excerpt gives you a taste of Carey’s critique. As I read the article, though, I found myself mulling one of the reasons Chafee may have been drawn to Ravitch: their similar political trajectories.
January 2nd, 2012 at 11:23 pm by Ted Nesi under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site
New York Times columnist Joe Nocera, who grew up in Providence, offers some rare praise for Central Falls in his Tuesday column:
Central Falls, though, also has one of the most promising reading experiments in the country. The Learning Community, a local charter school, and the Central Falls public elementary schools have joined forces in a collaboration that has resulted in dramatic improvements in the reading scores of the public schoolchildren from kindergarten to grade 2. Given the mistrust of charter schools by public schoolteachers, creating this collaboration was no small feat. And while the city’s bankruptcy now threatens it, the Central Falls experiment not only needs to be preserved, it should be replicated across the country. I haven’t seen anything that makes more sense.
Between this and the glowing writeups the pension law is garnering, Rhode Island seems to be on a public relations winning streak lately. Nocera is particularly taken with how The Learning Community’s story is one of charters and traditional public schools collaborating effectively.
Speaking of Nocera, he sat down with me when he was in town last year for an interview about his memories of Rhode Island and what he thinks the state should do to fix its economy – you can read our Q&A here.
December 1st, 2011 at 11:42 am by Ted Nesi under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site
For a second year, 24/7 Wall St has run the numbers on the best- and worst-run states in America, and this time Rhode Island is near the bottom of the barrel.
The Ocean State comes in No. 43 on this year’s list, seventh-worst in the nation. Wyoming ranks first and California ranks last. That’s down nine spots from Rhode Island’s No. 34 placing in last year’s rankings.
“Rhode Island has many positive attributes, including [a] low violent crime rate and a relatively low poverty rate,” according to 24/7 Wall Street. “However, the state’s spending is exceptionally high, and it has accumulated $8,716 in debt per capita. Nearly 20% of expenditures are for public education, yet compared with other states it has the 10th-lowest percentage of adults who have graduated from high school.”
Coming in behind Rhode Island were Kentucky (No. 44), South Carolina (No. 45), Nevada (No. 46), Arizona (No. 47), Michigan (No. 48), Illinois (No. 49) and California (No. 50). Our neighbors did a bit better than us: Massachusetts was No. 30 and Connecticut was No. 22.
Better luck next time. You can read about 24/7 methodology here. Thanks to reader GB for sending it along.
November 4th, 2011 at 10:00 am by Ted Nesi under Nesi's Notes
Raimondo and Deputy Treasurer Mark Dingley
A leading Washington think tank will weigh in Friday with a mostly favorable review of the Raimondo-Chafee pension overhaul – and a crucial explanation of why its legality could be upheld by the courts.
“In general, we think this is a good approach,” Bill Tucker, managing director of the nonpartisan think-tank Education Sector and co-author of the new study, told WPRI.com. It focuses on two aspects of the bill: how it proposes to close the funding shortfall, and what sort of retirement the revamped system would allow.
Tucker said the bill as drafted avoids the two extreme pension fixes Education Sector has seen proposed elsewhere: fixing the system by slashing benefits for current workers to make them pay for retirees, as Illinois has done, or “basically casting teachers into the same retirement insecurity that a lot of the country faces.”
Education Sector’s study offers a more nuanced view – and a Rhode Island-oriented one – than the report issued Monday by the National Institute on Retirement Security, which defended defined-benefit pensions and criticized pure 401k-style defined-contribution plans. (The Raimondo-Chafee bill would combine both in a hybrid plan.)
October 20th, 2011 at 6:00 am by Ted Nesi under Nesi's Notes
Less than half the students at Rhode Island’s state schools are from Rhode Island – and the reason has nothing to do with illegal immigration.
Only 44% of freshmen enrolled at Rhode Island’s public institutions of higher eduction were from in state while 56% are from elsewhere in 2008, according to federal data analyzed by The Wall Street Journal. The figures show 7,244 freshmen at URI, RIC and CCRI were Rhode Island residents while 9,299 migrated from out of state.
Rhode Island was one of only two states in the country where out-of-state freshmen outnumbered in-staters. The other was Vermont, where just 33% of public-college students were in-state residents. The national average is 80%.
“[I]n an era of state budget deficits, out-of-state students are becoming a hot commodity, because they typically pay tuition rates two to three times higher than in-state residents,” the paper explained. “Making the out-of-state student all the more attractive is a declining number of home-grown high-school graduates in many states.”
At the University of Rhode Island, state residents pay less than half as much as their classmates from other places: tuition and fees cost $12,658 for Rhode Island residents but $28,746 for out-of-state residents.
October 3rd, 2011 at 3:05 pm by Ted Nesi under Nesi's Notes
By Claire Peracchio
Granting in-state tuition to undocumented students will not displace citizen students from college classrooms in Rhode Island because the three state schools have excess capacity, according to the Board of Governors for Higher Education.
Rhode Island became the 13th state to allow undocumented students to receive in-state tuition one week ago, when the Board of Governors voted unanimously to approve the change. (Wisconsin reversed its policy earlier this year.)
The only study to examine the impact of the policy change, which I wrote about last week on the eve of the Board of Governors vote, was conducted by the nonpartisan Latino Policy Institute at Roger Williams University. That study concluded that allowing undocumented students to pay in-state tuition rates would increase non-citizen enrollment at URI, RIC and CCRI from 74 to 98 and be a net moneymaker for the schools.
But critics didn’t buy it, saying additional undocumented students would inevitably mean fewer classroom seats for qualified citizens. On Monday, Board of Governors spokesman Michael Trainor called that argument “a red herring.”