- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 4, 2015

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - The state’s public charter schools held a rally on Wednesday to support equitable funding, which they worry could be cut as a result of a House study commission’s assessment of the state’s Fair Funding Formula.

The Rhode Island Mayoral Academies and the Rhode Island League of Charter Schools led the rally in the rotunda of the statehouse. Several hundred students, parents and stakeholders attended.

Lt. Gov. Daniel McKee, a Democrat who spoke at the rally, said students across all public schools achieve at higher levels when there are more public school options.

The Fair Funding Formula legislation was passed in 2010 to ensure equitable funding based on a child’s needs rather than on which public school a child attends.

Rhode Island Mayoral Academies CEO Michael Magee said stakeholders are concerned that funding could go away based on the commission’s assessment. He said 8,000 students in Rhode Island attend public independent schools.

Magee, who is on the commission, said he thinks the commission itself is appropriate but the “basic principle that students should be treated fairly regardless of whichever school they attend should be protected.”

State Rep. Jeremiah O’Grady, a Democrat from Lincoln and Pawtucket, said in an email to The Associated Press that the commission is investigating whether the legislation’s goals have been realized and what the costs have been to taxpayers.

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