Briefly... Mayor Taveras has finally come out in support of AFMA. This is good since it makes him more accountable. The pathetic thing is that Providence would be far better off if this school didn't have to be a mayoral academy at all, and a mayor really looking out for his own city would have rejected this year's proposal out of hand until a new proposal could be drafted taking into account Providence's interests.
In other news, it looks like DfER's "all your funding formula increase are belong to us" is going to be the party line. Since Cranston and Providence will be getting more money from the state, most or all of that increase can go into the mayoral academies. See, it's not a cut! Just a smaller increase.
I'm not expecting an outright win here, but this has been far more difficult and damaging to the reformy agenda than anyone expected. Rhode Island is quickly becoming the only state in the country where when people hear the word "charter schools" they think of posturing jackass suburban mayors.
Also, if AFMA is passed to the next step in the process, it'll be interesting to see if anyone has a lawsuit ready to challenge what looks to me like a clearly legally insufficient application.