RI officials debate about new charter schools funding formula

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island officials are in last-minute negotiations over the state education budget that could affect the way charter schools are funded.

Education Commissioner Ken Wagner sent a letter to superintendents on Friday informing them that talks are ongoing.

Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo tells The Providence Journal her administration wasn’t consulted on major changes proposed by lawmakers.

The revision is part of the $8.9 billion state budget that the House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on Wednesday.

It would allow school districts to cut charter school payments by 7 percent and deduct certain expenses, including teacher pension costs.

Charter school administrators oppose the changes, which they say would lead to budgetary uncertainty.

Democratic House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello says the formula is fairer and will actually help urban charter schools.

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