The State of Rhode Island Public Education

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Schools

Our education system

School types and options

Due to declining student enrollment, Rhode Island has fewer schools now than 10–15 years ago. At the same time, choices for Rhode Island families have expanded. Today families have access not only to long-standing options such as career and technical education centers, state-operated schools and a collaborative school; they also have access to more than two-dozen public charter schools.

Number of public schools
All public schools: {{max}}
Traditional public schools
Public charter schools
CTE centers*, other state schools** and collaborative schools***
Traditional public schools
Public charter schools
CTE centers*, other state schools** and collaborative schools***
Traditional public schools
Public charter schools
CTE centers*, other state schools** and collaborative schools***
Traditional public schools
Public charter schools
CTE centers*, other state schools** and collaborative schools***
*Career and technical education (CTE) centers, comprised of Davies Career and Technical High School and the Metropolitan Regional Career and Technical Center. CTE centers are state-operated.
**Other state operated schools, comprised of RI School for the Deaf and the RI Department of Children, Youth and Families (DCYF) Alternative Education Program.
***Comprised of the Urban Collaborative Accelerated Program (UCAP), an independent public middle school serving at-risk students from Providence, Central Falls and Cranston.
K–12 public school enrollment
All public schools: {{max}}
Traditional public schools
Public charter schools
CTE centers, other state schools and collaborative schools
Traditional public schools
Public charter schools
CTE centers, other state schools and collaborative schools
Traditional public schools
Public charter schools
CTE centers, other state schools and collaborative schools
Traditional public schools
Public charter schools
CTE centers, other state schools and collaborative schools
Source
  1. “Enrollment, Dropout and Graduation Data,” Rhode Island Department of Education, accessed December 14, 2015, http://www.ride.ri.gov/InformationAccountability/RIEducationData/EnrollmentGraduationData.aspx. To calculate totals, 50CAN staff downloaded the spreadsheets for each year and manually separated each type of school. Calculating the total number of schools requires first removing any rows containing “home instruction,” private schools, and district central offices (although all rows must remain in place when calculating student enrollment).

School demographics by type

Public school demographics by race/ethnicity
Native American
Asian Pacific
Black
White
Hispanic
Multi-race
Native American
Asian Pacific
Black
White
Hispanic
Multi-race
Native American
Asian Pacific
Black
White
Hispanic
Multi-race
Native American
Asian Pacific
Black
White
Hispanic
Multi-race
Native American
Asian Pacific
Black
White
Hispanic
Multi-race
Native American
Asian Pacific
Black
White
Hispanic
Multi-race

Note: Percentages do not always add to 100 due to rounding

Public school demographics by other subgroups
Free or reduced-price lunch eligible
Free or reduced-price lunch eligible
Free or reduced-price lunch eligible
Free or reduced-price lunch eligible
Free or reduced-price lunch eligible
Free or reduced-price lunch eligible
Limited English proficiency
Limited English proficiency
Limited English proficiency
Limited English proficiency
Limited English proficiency
Limited English proficiency
Special education (IEP)
Special education (IEP)
Special education (IEP)
Special education (IEP)
Special education (IEP)
Special education (IEP)
Source
  1. “Enrollment, Dropout and Graduation Data,” Rhode Island Department of Education, accessed December 14, 2015, http://www.ride.ri.gov/InformationAccountability/RIEducationData/EnrollmentGraduationData.aspx. To calculate totals, 50CAN staff downloaded the spreadsheets for each year and manually separated each type of school.

Public charter school geography

Public charter schools are located throughout Rhode Island. Some public charter schools serve single communities, while others draw from a collection of communities or serve the entire state.

Rhode Island public charter schools and the grades and communities they serve, 2015–2016
Academy for Career Exploration
Achievement First Providence Mayoral Academy Elementary School
Achievement First Providence Mayoral Academy Elementary School (Iluminar)
Beacon Charter High School
Beacon Charter School—Founder’s Academy
Blackstone Academy Charter School
Blackstone Valley Prep Mayoral Academy—Elementary School 1
Blackstone Valley Prep Mayoral Academy – Elementary School 2
Blackstone Valley Prep Mayoral Academy – Elementary School 3
Blackstone Valley Prep Mayoral Academy – Middle School
Blackstone Valley Prep Mayoral Academy – High School
Highlander Charter School
Hope Academy
International Charter School
Kingston Hill Academy
New England Laborers’/CPS Construction & Career Academy
Paul Cuffee School
Rhode Island Nurses Institute Middle College
RISE Prep Mayoral Academy
Segue Institute for Learning
Sheila “Skip” Nowell Leadership Academy – Central Falls
Sheila “Skip” Nowell Leadership Academy – Providence
Southside Elementary Charter School
The Compass School
The Greene School
The Learning Community
The Village Green Virtual Charter School
Times2 STEM Academy
Trinity Academy for the Performing Arts

*There are three types of public charter schools in Rhode Island: Mayoral Academies, independent charter schools, and district charter schools. Mayoral Academies are “Schools created by a mayor of any city or town within the State of Rhode Island, acting by or through a nonprofit organization (regardless of the time said nonprofit organization is in existence) to establish a mayoral academy.” Independent charter schools “Schools created by: (i) Rhode Island nonprofit organizations provided that these nonprofit organizations shall have existed for at least two (2) years and must exist for a substantial reason other than to operate a school or (ii) Colleges or universities within the State of Rhode Island.” District charter schools are “Schools created by existing public schools, groups of public school personnel, public school districts, or a group of school districts.”

Sources
  1. “Rhode Island’s Charter Schools: List of Charter Schools,” Rhode Island Department of Education, accessed December 14, 2015, http://www.ride.ri.gov/StudentsFamilies/RIPublicSchools/CharterSchools.aspx#1977598-list-of-charter-schools; and “List of Rhode Island’s Public Charter Schools,” Rhode Island Department of Education, accessed December 14, 2015, http://www.ride.ri.gov/Portals/0/Uploads/Documents/Students-and-Families-Great-Schools/Charter-Schools/Charter%20Schools%202015/List_of_RI_Charter_Schools.pdf.
  2. “Rhode Island’s Charter Schools: Types of Rhode Island Charter Schools,” Rhode Island Department of Education, accessed December 20, 2015, http://www.ride.ri.gov/StudentsFamilies/RIPublicSchools/CharterSchools.aspx#1977597-about-charter-schools.

Pre-kindergarten access

Over the last decade, access to schooling before kindergarten in Rhode Island has improved. The state has taken steps in recent years to expand the number of state-funded pre-K seats, but total state-funded enrollment remains low. Head Start access has remained stable.

Percentage of 3- and 4-year-olds not attending school (public or private)
Rhode Island
National
Rhode Island
National
Rhode Island
National
Rhode Island
National

Note: These figures are estimates based on U.S. Census data.

Access to the Rhode Island State Pre-K Program
Percentage of 3-year-olds enrolled in state-funded pre-K programs0%
Percentage of 4-year-olds enrolled in state-funded pre-K programs5%
Total enrollment in state-funded pre-K programs594
Rhode Island’s national ranking in access to state-funded pre-K programs for 3-year-olds (National Institute for Early Education Research)*No three-year-olds served
Rhode Island’s national ranking in access to state-funded pre-K programs for 4-year-olds (National Institute for Early Education Research)*40th
swipe to explore the table
Percentage of 3-year-olds enrolled in state-funded pre-K programs0%
Percentage of 4-year-olds enrolled in state-funded pre-K programs3%
Total enrollment in state-funded pre-K programs306
Rhode Island’s national ranking in access to state-funded pre-K programs for 3-year-olds (National Institute for Early Education Research)*No three-year-olds served
Rhode Island’s national ranking in access to state-funded pre-K programs for 4-year-olds (National Institute for Early Education Research)*40th
swipe to explore the table
Percentage of 3-year-olds enrolled in state-funded pre-K programs0%
Percentage of 4-year-olds enrolled in state-funded pre-K programs2%
Total enrollment in state-funded pre-K programs234
Rhode Island’s national ranking in access to state-funded pre-K programs for 3-year-olds (National Institute for Early Education Research)*No three-year-olds served
Rhode Island’s national ranking in access to state-funded pre-K programs for 4-year-olds (National Institute for Early Education Research)*40th
swipe to explore the table
Percentage of 3-year-olds enrolled in state-funded pre-K programs0%
Percentage of 4-year-olds enrolled in state-funded pre-K programs1%
Total enrollment in state-funded pre-K programs108
Rhode Island’s national ranking in access to state-funded pre-K programs for 3-year-olds (National Institute for Early Education Research)*No three-year-olds served
Rhode Island’s national ranking in access to state-funded pre-K programs for 4-year-olds (National Institute for Early Education Research)*40th
swipe to explore the table
Percentage of 3-year-olds enrolled in state-funded pre-K programs0%
Percentage of 4-year-olds enrolled in state-funded pre-K programs1%
Total enrollment in state-funded pre-K programs126
Rhode Island’s national ranking in access to state-funded pre-K programs for 3-year-olds (National Institute for Early Education Research)*No three-year-olds served
Rhode Island’s national ranking in access to state-funded pre-K programs for 4-year-olds (National Institute for Early Education Research)*40th
swipe to explore the table
Percentage of 3-year-olds enrolled in state-funded pre-K programs0%
Percentage of 4-year-olds enrolled in state-funded pre-K programs0%
Total enrollment in state-funded pre-K programs0
Rhode Island’s national ranking in access to state-funded pre-K programs for 3-year-olds (National Institute for Early Education Research)*No three-year-olds served
Rhode Island’s national ranking in access to state-funded pre-K programs for 4-year-olds (National Institute for Early Education Research)*No four-year-olds served
swipe to explore the table

*Rhode Island provides a limited number of state-funded Head Start seats (130 state funded Head Start slots in 2015–2016 and in 2014–2015). According to the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER), however, the number of students in state-funded Head Start seats is typically in the low triple digits.

*Although Rhode Island provides a limited number of state-funded Head Start seats, the data have historically been insufficient to report an exact number of children served. According to the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER), however, the number of students in state-funded Head Start seats is typically in the low triple digits.

*Although Rhode Island provides a limited number of state-funded Head Start seats, the data have historically been insufficient to report an exact number of children served. According to the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER), however, the number of students in state-funded Head Start seats is typically in the low triple digits.

*Although Rhode Island provides a limited number of state-funded Head Start seats, the data have historically been insufficient to report an exact number of children served. According to the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER), however, the number of students in state-funded Head Start seats is typically in the low triple digits.

*Although Rhode Island provides a limited number of state-funded Head Start seats, the data have historically been insufficient to report an exact number of children served. According to the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER), however, the number of students in state-funded Head Start seats is typically in the low triple digits.

*Although Rhode Island provides a limited number of state-funded Head Start seats, the data have historically been insufficient to report an exact number of children served. According to the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER), however, the number of students in state-funded Head Start seats is typically in the low triple digits.

Head Start access in Rhode Island*
Percentage of 3-year-olds enrolled in Head Start programs9%
Percentage of 4-year-olds enrolled in Head Start programs12%
Federally funded** Head Start enrollment (3- and 4-year-olds)2,134
swipe to explore the table
Percentage of 3-year-olds enrolled in Head Start programs7%
Percentage of 4-year-olds enrolled in Head Start programs13%
Federally funded** Head Start enrollment (3- and 4-year-olds)2,085
swipe to explore the table
Percentage of 3-year-olds enrolled in Head Start programs7%
Percentage of 4-year-olds enrolled in Head Start programs13%
Federally funded** Head Start enrollment (3- and 4-year-olds)2,206
swipe to explore the table
Percentage of 3-year-olds enrolled in Head Start programs5%
Percentage of 4-year-olds enrolled in Head Start programs11%
Federally funded** Head Start enrollment (3- and 4-year-olds)1,776
swipe to explore the table
Percentage of 3-year-olds enrolled in Head Start programs8%
Percentage of 4-year-olds enrolled in Head Start programs14%
Federally funded** Head Start enrollment (3- and 4-year-olds)2,386
swipe to explore the table

** Although Rhode Island provides a limited number of state-funded Head Start seats, the data have historically been insufficient to report an exact number of children served. According to the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER), however, the number of students in state-funded Head Start seats is typically in the low triple digits.

** Although Rhode Island provides a limited number of state-funded Head Start seats, the data have historically been insufficient to report an exact number of children served. According to the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER), however, the number of students in state-funded Head Start seats is typically in the low triple digits.

** Although Rhode Island provides a limited number of state-funded Head Start seats, the data have historically been insufficient to report an exact number of children served. According to the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER), however, the number of students in state-funded Head Start seats is typically in the low triple digits.

** Although Rhode Island provides a limited number of state-funded Head Start seats, the data have historically been insufficient to report an exact number of children served. According to the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER), however, the number of students in state-funded Head Start seats is typically in the low triple digits.

** Although Rhode Island provides a limited number of state-funded Head Start seats, the data have historically been insufficient to report an exact number of children served. According to the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER), however, the number of students in state-funded Head Start seats is typically in the low triple digits.

* Head Start is a federal program that is primarily funded by federal dollars. However, Rhode Island also provides a small amount of additional state funding to supplement federal funding. In 2013–2014 and 2014–2015, Rhode Island provided approximately $800,000 in state general funds for Head Start.

Sources
  1. Graph 1: "American Fact Finder: Table B14003," U.S. Census Bureau, last accessed June 9, 2016, http://factfinder.census.gov/faces/nav/jsf/pages/searchresults.xhtml?refresh=t.
  2. Graph 2: “Rhode Island KIDS COUNT Data & Publications: The Rhode Island Kids Count Factbook,” Rhode Island KIDS COUNT (see the current Kids Count Factbook and the Publications Archive), last accessed June 9, 2016, http://www.rikidscount.org/DataPublications/DataPublicationsOverview.aspx.
  3. Graphs 2. 3: "Annual State Pre-K Reports: State Preschool Yearbooks," National Institute for Early Education Research, last accessed June 9, 2016, http://nieer.org/publications/annual-state-pre-k-reports-state-preschool-yearbooks.

Early programs quality and accountability

Percentage of Rhode Island early learning programs participating in BrightStars*
  Early Learning Centers (serving infants to preschools) Public Schools with pre-K Programs (serving preschoolers)
2015–201682%60%
2014–201578%40%
2013–201478%N/A
2012–201315%N/A
2011–201212%N/A
2010–20117%N/A
swipe to explore the table

*BrightStars is Rhode Island’s Tiered Quality Rating and Improvement System (TQRIS). It is used to assess the quality of early learning programs, communicate that information to parents and help early learning programs improve their services. Early learning programs participate in BrightStars on a voluntary basis. Most other states also utilize a TQRIS.

Note: programs that serve children participating in the Child Care Assistance Program and programs that operate a State Pre-K classroom are required to participate in BrightStars. Also note that licensed family child care providers participate in BrightStars and are considered early learning programs.

Percentage of Rhode Island early learning programs participating in BrightStars that earned a 4- or 5-star rating*
Early learning centers (serving infants through preschoolers)17%
Public schools with pre-K programs (serving preschoolers)13%
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Only about 2% of family child care centers are high quality as of 2015–2016.

* Programs participating in BrightStars are awarded a rating on a scale of 1–5, with 5 stars indicating the highest quality programs.

Source
  1. “Rhode Island KIDS COUNT Data & Publications: The Rhode Island Kids Count Factbook,” Rhode Island KIDS COUNT (see the current Kids Count Factbook and the Publications Archive), last accessed June 9, 2016, http://www.rikidscount.org/DataPublications/DataPublicationsOverview.aspx.

Kindergarten access

Rhode Island has been near the national average in kindergarten enrollment and full-day kindergarten access. In 2015, Governor Raimondo signed a budget requiring universal access to full-day kindergarten for Rhode Island students by the 2016–2017 school year.

Percentage of eligible children enrolled in any kindergarten program
Rhode Island
National
Percentage of kindergarten students enrolled in full-day programs
Rhode Island
National
Rhode Island
National
Rhode Island
National
Rhode Island
National
Sources
  1. Introduction: “R.I. Gov. to Sign $8.67B State Budget for 2016,” NECN (June 30, 2015), accessed February 12, 2015, http://www.necn.com/news/new-england/RI-Gov-to-Sign-867B-State-Budget-for-2016-310997591.html.
  2. Graph 1: “Called to Account: New Directions in School Accountability,” Education Week, p. 5, accessed February 12, 2016, http://www.edweek.org/media/ew/qc/2016/shr/16shr.ri.h35.pdf.
  3. Graph 2: “Rhode Island KIDS COUNT Data & Publications: The Rhode Island Kids Count Factbook,” Rhode Island KIDS COUNT (see the current Kids Count Factbook and the Publications Archive), last accessed June 9, 2016, http://www.rikidscount.org/DataPublications/DataPublicationsOverview.aspx.
  4. Graph 2: “Preparing to Launch: Early Childhood’s Academic Countdown: Rhode Island State Highlights 2015,” Education Week, p. 5, accessed December 15, 2015, http://www.edweek.org/media/ew/qc/2015/shr/16shr.ri.h34.pdf.