March 20 from 5:30-7:00 pm ALN League of Women Voters Workshop

The Alliance for a Livable Newport and the League of Women Voters, Newport County, will host a workshop March 20 from 5:30-7:00 pm at the Newport Public Library, Rotary Room, 300 Spring Street, to discuss the financial impact of Race to the Top and the particulars of the new Rhode Island school funding formula.
*Space for this workshop is very limited. The Rotary room at the Newport Public Library will hold two dozen people. Please come early to make sure of a seat.

Funding Our Schools-Rhode Island’s Role in Supporting Local Education

Until the passage of new legislation in June 2010, Rhode Island was one of only two states that did not use a funding formula to help support local school districts. Rhode Island’s new funding formula has been in place for almost two years, and the state has also received new federal monies as part of the Race to the Top grant. What exactly is a funding formula and what does this all mean to local school districts?

Alda Rego, Rhode Island Department of Education‘s Director of Finance, and Kristen Cole, RIDE’s Senior Finance Officer, will explain how Rhode Island’s school funding formula affects local community school funding and how the school district’s demographics are factored into the funding formula. Representatives of the Newport School District will be on hand to discuss the impact of these programs on its funding. There will also be a discussion of how the Race to the Top funds are being used by RIDE to strengthen public education in Rhode Island.   There will be time for questions after the presentations.

The League of Women Voters believes that the state has an important role in funding education,” says Susan Wells, president of the League of Women Voters of Newport County. “Citizens need to understand how the formula works and why it is important. There is more to it than grumbling about how much more or less a district receives under the new formula. We hope this workshop will be a concrete step in forming a basic understanding of what is at stake.”

Information on Rhode Island’s funding formula is available at RIDE’s Web site:  

  • Please  join us for this informative event.
  • Free and Open to the Public
  • For more information or to submit questions,  please e-mail:
Alliance for a Livable Newport
Isabel Griffith, President
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Welcome to the Alliance for a Livable Newport!

ALN Panel Addresses America’s Cup, Other Summer Events

The Alliance for a Livable Newport hosted a panel discussion on the America’s Cup races, Ocean State Tall Ships and other summer sailing events in Newport this year.

A packed auditorium at CCRI-Newport Thursday got a preview of what’s in store for Newport this summer during the Alliance for a Livable Newport’s “A Super Summer of Sails: What can Newporters expect?” panel discussion.

Newport City Manager and Chair of the Logistics Subcommittee of the America’s Cup World Series Host Committee Jane Howington was on the panel. So was Evan Smith, President and CEO of the Newport & Bristol County Convention & Visitors Bureau, Brad Read, Executive Director of Sail Newport and Chairman of America’s Cup World Series Host Committee, Erin Donovan, Executive Director of Ocean State Tall Ships Festival and Jody Sullivan, Executive Director of the Newport County Chamber of Commerce.

Jack McVicker, member of the World Series Host Committee and Board Member of the Alliance for a Livable Newport, moderated the discussion.

America’s Cup RaceEnglish: The America's Cup

Read led his presentation by saying how “blessed” Newport is being based on the water. This year alone, Newport will probably see some 30 sailing events that will bring in thousands of tourists to the city, including the America’s Cup, Newport to Bermuda, and Atlantic Cup races, he said.

Read then focused on how Rhode Island rallied together around the idea of getting America’s Cup back to Newport.

The World Series, which will run from June 23 to July 1, will use “state of the art” carbon fiber

English: The BMW Oracle Racing America's Cup y...
Image via Wikipedia

catamarans with closing speeds of about 50 knots.

The 23rd and 24th will be practice days and the 25th and 26th will be testing days, all of which are free events. The remaining days will entail racing from 2 to 5:30 p.m. and will be ticketed events.

Fort Adams will be the place to watch,” Read said. “It will be harder to watch from the water.”

The Cup races, which will be televised by NBC, are a “completely new development.” The first live broadcast will be on June 23.

Read called Fort Adams the “prettiest venue on the planet,” which will be showcased around the world.

Ocean States Tall Ships

The Tall Ships event will run from July 6-9, the weekend after the America’s Cup races.

“It’s going to be an amazing summer,” Donovan said.

The Tall Ships last came to Newport in 2007 and was a free event. This year the festival will be ticketed at $12.50 for adults, $7.50 for children and free for childen under three.

Donovan said 200,000 visitors came to the last Tall Ships event and brought in $20 million for Rhode Island, which she said she believes they will match this year.

Visitors will primarily be dropped off at the Gateway Center from various satellite parking lots, including Newport Grand, CCRI, Middletown Public Schools, and Newport Public Schools, among others.

Celebrate, Don’t Hiberate

During his speech, Smith encouraged the community to not let the out-of-towners have all the fun.

“This is a time for Newporters to celebrate, not hibernate,” he said. “ There are two world class events coming to your town.”

“How fortunate are we that we don’t have to travel all around the world to find this incredibly dynamic event?” he asked.

Take a day off, invite your friend and family, rent a boat, he advised.

Smith also reminded community members that these types of events help drive money back into the local economy.

It is the travel-related taxes that are staying inside the Newport community that help keep the local tax bases lower, he said.

The Logistics

Events take planning, lots of it. Especially large, world-class events like the ones coming to Newport this summer.

Howington said all local organizations need to coordinate “to not complicate each other.”

“It’s a pretty amazing task to deal with all the logistics,” she said.

The logistics range from everything from parking and shuttles to signage and port-o-potties.

Howington said she has faith that by working together, the city will be able to make the summer events work well, but there will no doubt be an impact on Newport.

“We’re working hard to create a visitor’s experience that’s outstanding,” Read said.

Related Topics: Alliance for a Livable Newport, America’s Cup, and Ocean State Tall Ships


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