Rep. Joy Hearn (D-Dist. 66, Barrington, East Providence) is cosponsoring legislation developed by the Department of Education to enact a formula that will determine each school district’s state funding. She said education aid from the state must be equitable, predictable and reflect the needs of students and their communities.
The legislation (2010-H 8094), which was introduced Wednesday, May 5 by House Finance Chairman Steven M. Costantino, would put an end to Rhode Island’s status as the only state without a statewide education funding formula, where state aid is usually based on the previous year’s amount and does not reflect changes in districts’ student populations and needs.
“School funding is far too important for the state to be apportioning it arbitrarily or politically. Rhode Island has limited funding. We aren’t spending it wisely if we aren’t carefully sending it where the students and the needs are today. This formula will help the state get the most value for its education dollar while finally treating students equitably,” said Rep. Hearn, who has pushed for the formula throughout her freshman term in the Rhode Island General Assembly.