CRANSTON — Citing the city’s struggle to “adequately fund our current public school system” and the possibility of a tax increase to fund a proposed public charter school district sponsored by Mayor Allan W. Fung, Councilman Emilio L. Navarro is asking Fung to prepare a financial-impact report “on creating and sustaining a new public charter school district in conjunction with our current public school system.”
Because this is officially the mayor's proposal, and because the schools are required to take half its students from Cranston if they have sufficient applicants from the city, this is certainly a valid question. And my back of the envelope calculations aren't too impressive. Given Cranston's already high scores, even among low income students, the highest possible increase in the Cranston district + AFMA student population attributable to AFMA is usually around 4% (plus or minus a few points depending on the specific grade/subject). In return for that, you're looking at multiple program cuts and school closures. If you could actually estimate the short and long-term impact of those cuts, the whole thing would probably be nearly a wash for Cranston -- in the best case scenario.