We are living in unprecedented times. This global pandemic is causing hardship for everyone. People are losing their jobs, they face financial insecurity, they may not be able to pay their bills.
Cities and towns are trying to build budgets with little information on the support they will be getting from the state as the state tries to plug the largest deficit in modern history.
Charter schools are funded with taxpayer dollars. All sending districts are required to pay for their children that go to charter schools. North Kingstown pays approximately $100,000 to the Greene School in Exeter to cover the cost of North Kingstown students attending the school.
Recently, the Greene School applied for $400,000 Paycheck Protection Program money. They did so because their legal counsel said they could do this through a loophole: they are not a public school in the eyes of the Federal government. But, they are also seeking a public increase through RIDE for their state aid. The equivalent of double dipping. This is completely immoral and unethical.
Charter schools who accept this money are taking advantage of taxpayers twice and taking more than their fair share of funding from our children and educators in public schools. It is also taking away available appropriations from struggling businesses and nonprofits. Bending a definition to suit their greed is immoral. Greed in these uncertain times is reprehensible.
Public schools are not eligible for Paycheck Protection Program dollars. Why do charter schools get to play by different rules? Paycheck Protection Program (from the Small Business Administration) is intended for small businesses with few employees, like restaurants, and nonprofits.
The taxpayers of North Kingstown deserve better than this!
Julie Casimiro, Mary Brimer and Robert Jones