Rhode Island Is Ready. How can you help?

[ 2 ] April 30, 2010 |

RI is ReadyRhode Island Is Ready is a campaign advocating for the creation of a fair statewide funding formula for Rhode Island public schools. Rhode Island is currently the only state in the United States that doesn’t have such a formula, which would allocate state funding to school districts in an equitable manner, based on each student’s needs and the ability of each district to raise local funds.

The objective of the Ready campaign is achieving a fair funding formula for Rhode Island this legislative session. With less than 40 days until the end of the legislative session, the Ready campaign invites you to help make this happen!

Here are 3 things you can do:

1. Save the date for Ready’s ADVOCACY DAY, Tuesday, May 11, 2:30 — 4:30 pm, at the State House. There will be legislative briefings, advocacy trainings, meetings with legislators, and more! Please note new date and time: Thursday, May 13, at 11:30 am, Room 35 at the State House.

2. Contact your State Representative and State Senator today! Give them this simple message: “My community and the state of Rhode Island urgently needs a fair education funding formula and I would like to meet with you on May 11 at the State House to discuss how we can get this done.” Find your legislator and their contact information here: http://www.rilin.state.ri.us/index.html.

3. Participate in Ready’s Statewide Speaking Tour by hosting an event in your community. Contact Karina to schedule a date and a speaker.

The Details
Organizer: Karina H. Wood
email: karinawood@cox.net
phone: 401-595-2999

The Ready campaign is made possible through support from the Nellie Mae Education Foundation and The Women’s Fund of Rhode Island

For more info, visit the Rhode Island is Ready FaceBook Page

Category: education + schools, local ri area

Anisa Raoof

about the author ()

Anisa Raoof is the publisher of Kidoinfo.com. She combines being a mom with her experience as an artist, designer, psych researcher and former co-director of the Providence Craft Show to create the go-to spot for families in Rhode Island and beyond. She loves using social media to connect parents with family-related businesses and services and promoting ways for parents to engage offline with their kids. Anisa believes in the power of working together and loves to find ways to collaborate with others. An online enthusiast, still likes to unplug often by reading books and magazines, drawing, learning to knit, making pop-up books with her two sons and listening to records with her husband.

Comments (2)

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  1. I’m so happy to hear about this. With elementary schools closing and significant programs being cut all over the state, we need this!

  2. Anisa Raoof Anisa says:

    Parents, school students, local elected officials and community leaders
    advocate for passage of a Fair Education Funding Formula,
    RI State House, Tuesday, May 11


    Rhode Island is Ready, a statewide grassroots advocacy campaign for education reform, is holding an Advocacy Event and Press Conference to urge State lawmakers to enact a fair education funding formula this session.


    Parents, school students, state and local elected officials, school committee members, community leaders, taxpayers, and supporters of public schools.

    Press conference speakers include:

    House Finance Chairman Steven M. Costantino (Dem-District 8-Prov.), sponsor H8094 fair funding formula bill
    Deputy Majority Leader Joseph S. Almeida (Dem- District 12-Prov), co-sponsor H8094 and H7555 fair funding formula bills
    Henry S. Kinch Jr., President, Pawtucket City Council
    John F. Ward, President, Woonsocket City Council
    Michelle Cortes-Harkins, Executive Director, Center for Hispanic Policy & Advocacy (CHisPA)
    Lisa Beaulieu, Cumberland School Committee
    Karina Holyoak Wood, Organizer, Rhode Island is Ready

    Tuesday, May 11, 2:30 – 4:30 PM

    Press Conference at 3:15 PM


    Rhode Island State House, Governor’s State Reception Room, 2nd Floor


    Rhode Island is Ready is a statewide, grassroots advocacy campaign for education reform, founded and led by public school parents, students and taxpayers Our number one priority in 2010 is passage and enactment of a fair education funding formula.

    The work of the Ready campaign in made possible through funding from the Nellie Mae Education Fund.


    We want adequate State funding to support all Rhode Island’s public schools, and we seek the equitable distribution of those State education dollars among our 36 school districts using a fair, objective and predictable funding formula in order to help ensure that every child in Rhode Island has access to a quality public education.

    What we mean by adequate funding is that Rhode Island needs to increase its share of the cost of public education over time, as the State budget improves, from the current 36% of the total cost of education, toward a 50% share that is the national norm. (Massachusetts’ State share is nearly 48%. Rhode Island’s 36% share is the 7th lowest State share in the nation.)

    What we mean by equitable funding is that State education dollars should be allocated to districts based on the number of students enrolled, each student’s needs, and the ability of each district to raise local funds, ensuring that districts with the least local resources receive a greater proportion of state support to ensure an adequate education for every child in Rhode Island, regardless of town of residence.

    Rhode Island is Ready applauds the Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE) and Commissioner Deborah Gist for their vigorous advocacy for, and research and development of, a funding formula. Their formula proposal, as sponsored by Rep. Steven Costantino (D-Providence) in bill H8094, has a number of effective elements that we support.

    Rhode Island is Ready also thanks Rep. Edie Ajello (D-Providence) for her many years of leadership on the fair funding formula issue in the General Assembly. Her bill H7555 also contains a number of effective elements that we support.

    We urge the Rhode Island General Assembly to enact a funding formula bill this session that takes the best elements from both of these bills, and includes a commitment to increasing the State share of education costs to 45 -50% over time as the State budget improves.

    Rhode Island is Ready’s Principles for a Fair Funding Formula

    Our goal:

    An adequate and equitable funding formula for State education aid that will help to ensure that every child in Rhode Island has access to a quality public education, and provide a foundation for other needed reforms.

    We want a funding formula that:

    1. Assesses what an adequate education per student costs, taking into account each student’s needs;

    In order to achieve adequate education funding, the State needs to assume responsibility for 45% to 50% of the cost of education. The General Assembly has adopted this goal on many prior occasions, and we urge incorporation and approval of a similar goal in the 2010 funding formula legislation. Currently in Rhode Island, 36% of school expenses are paid for by State aid (7th lowest in the country), compared with 47.7% in Massachusetts (which distributes $1,500 per student more of State school aid) and 50% nationally.

    2. Provides real, actual and meaningful funding to those districts that are currently underfunded, starting at the earliest possible date;

    3. Provides equitable funding based on each student’s needs and the ability of each district to raise local funds, ensuring that districts with the least local resources receive a greater proportion of state support to ensure an adequate education for every child in Rhode Island, regardless of town of residence;

    4. Provides predictable state funding in a manner that allows school districts to plan their budgets and programs;

    5. Develops new accountability systems to ensure that increased funds are used efficiently and are focused on student teaching and learning;

    6. Additionally, the Legislature should grant automatic exceptions under the Paiva-Weed law allowing school committees to increase local school budgets and to allow local communities to raise taxes above current limits if necessary in order to fill education funding gaps created by any reduction in State education aid.

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