Build A Better High School
And not a future 'white elephant"
Vote "NO" on The Newport School Construction bond
WE CAN ACHIEVE A BETTER RESULT.
NEWPORT TAXPAYERS: WHY PAY FOR A WHITE ELEPHANT?
- A new local High School for only 600-700 students costing nearly $100 million (!) is exorbitant and unnecessary.
- Given the uncertainty of the pandemic's impact, now is not the time for the largest single expenditure in Newport history.
- The majority of Newport council and school committee members prefer a larger, comprehensive Regional High School because of its educational and financial benefits.
TO LEARN WHY OUR MAYOR, SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENT AND SCHOOL COMMITTEE MEMBERS FAVORED A UNIFIED HIGH SCHOOL WITH MIDDLETOWN RATHER THAN TWO COSTLY, SEPARATE HIGH SCHOOLS.....
Nothing has changed:
the numbers and facts they presented remain the same!
Contrary to statements now being made, the door to exploring regionalization with Middletown is NOT closed!
- All 13 new candidates for the Middletown Town Council favor a Study of the benefits of regionalization with Newport.
- All new Middletown Council candidates agree that "a disservice to Middletown voters was done by the current town council in not approving the Study" which 1,200 Middletowners petitioned their Town Council to do. This vote will soon be overturned.
- The majority of Newport school committee candidates would support a regionalization study, if the bond was defeated.
- 65% of Newporters favored exploring the benefits of a Regional High School.
The best course is for Newport voters to delay making a costly decision with an irrevocable fifty year+ impact, until after the make-up of the new Middletown Town Council is determined on November 3rd!
- A new Regional High School will cost substantially less for Newport taxpayers since both construction and ongoing operating costs would be shared with Middletown.
- The pandemic is forcing communities to re-examine the educational delivery model. The new paradigm requires evolution before Newport invests in a building that represents an already outdated pre COVID-19 model.
- A newly designed Regional High School would provide greater flexibility in responding to accelerating changes in enrollment and distance learning and would easily expand or contract to meet an uncertain student demand.
- In all likelihood, the school bond vote could be delayed to 2021 - 2022 and still achieve a 52.5% state reimbursement on costs. Why not wait?
- The state's finances are stressed; the financial impact of the pandemic is unknown and future state payments over the life of the bonds are not guaranteed.
- If a new Rogers building is approved, repair and maintenance costs to the existing school must be incurred to accommodate students during construction in a safe, warm and dry manner. Whatever is done to extend life for four years could easily be augmented to provide a longer life to allow for regionalization to take place.
- A Regional High School would cost Newport less to build and operate in the future. A 2009 RIPEC Study concluded that "Opportunities exist to generate significant savings to the districts."
- Middletown High School is 59 years old, well past its 30 year expected life span, and will have to be replaced in the near future.
- Rhode Island already has the 7th highest educational cost per student among all states. Shrinking and ageing populations in both communities have less interest in supporting ever increasing city/town budgets.
- Newport's High School student population has dropped by half in recent years. Two small enrollment high schools located just five miles apart make no economic or academic sense.
BIGGER IS BETTER!
Experts state that a comprehensive Regional High School would provide more and better
- academic and STEAM offerings
- state of the art career tech programs
- extracurricular activities
- sports programs
- counseling and support staff
- A new Regional High School, located close to the student populations of Newport and Middletown, would result in shorter and less costly busing and improved school attendance. (Of the state’s 230 public schools, Rogers ranks 229th in attendance.)
- A new Regional High School would be built closer to existing academic, career tech facilities and internship opportunities on the Island, including CCRI, East Bay MET School, the Pell School, FAB Newport, NUWC and the Naval War College.
- Student bussing and public transportation to this academic corridor would significantly reduce costs and increase access.
- The land at Wickham Rd., valued at $25-30 million, would help pay for construction costs for a Regional High School.
- However, if the bond is approved, building new at the Rogers site, far at the southern end of the Island, would most likely preclude future regionalization with other Island Communities during the 50 year + life of the building.
- Our State School Commissioner thought "it crazy" to have three high schools on our small island. The State realizes funding small schools like Newport and Middletown is financially unsustainable and is why they further incentivized schools that would regionalize.
"Consolidation may provide an increased critical mass of students for a wider range of academic offerings to better meet the academic needs of students at all levels. Further, increased numbers may also allow for the expansion or retention of extra and co- curricular activities such as music, art, drama, academic teams, and athletics." Aquidneck Island Consolidation Feasibility Study - June, 2009