Proposed charter school withdraws application to ‘revisit options’

Proposed charter school withdraws application to ‘revisit options’

WOONSOCKET – A proposed new charter school has withdrawn its application to open in Woonsocket in the 2020-2021 school year, citing a need to “revisit all options” before opening the new school.

Nuestro Mundo submitted an application to the Rhode Island Department of Education earlier this year to open a bilingual K–8 charter school in the city in fall 2020. The school, according to its application, would serve 138 students in its first year of operation and meet a need for education in both English and Spanish.

The proposal drew swift opposition from School Committee members, who warned it could draw off as much as $8.1 million in state aid in its first five years of operation. Supt. Patrick McGee asked state leaders to look at the financial cost of new school when considering the application.

Last week, the Rhode Island Department of Education confirmed the charter school had withdrawn its application prior to a meeting by the Council on Elementary and Secondary Education to consider the proposal.

In an email to The Valley Breeze, Joseph Maruszczak, the current Mendon-Upton superintendent who would serve as executive director of the new school, said the group withdrew the application in order to revisit options regarding its location before submitting another application.

“Our application group decided to withdraw the application group for the Nuestro Mundo Public Charter School because we want to revisit all options, including various locations across the state, to start our learning community,” he said.

“As you know, there is a critical need for dual-language immersion programs across the state, not just in Woonsocket.”

Exact location within the city was one of several factors left undecided in the application. Though city officials have no authority to shut down the new school, thanks to an ordinance passed during a debate over a different charter school – RISE Prep Mayoral Academy – the City Council maintains the authority to approve or deny any municipal or state use of a building within the city.

Under state law, the school can resubmit the application for a different year, a course of action Maruszczak said he and other school founders plan to take. According to Megan Geoghegan, spokesperson for the Rhode Island Department of Education, the school will have to restart the process of public comment and consideration.

“(Nuestro Mundo’s) co-founder, Katie Cardamone, and I are very confident that with this thoughtful pause, we will resubmit a proposal that will be even stronger, and our innovative school will become a reality in the near future,” said Maruszczak.


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