Rhode Island offers families some school choice options.
Public School Choice:
Rhode Island provides some choice within the public education system, including inter-district open enrollment.
Private School Choice:
Since 2006, Rhode Island has operated the Rhode Island Corporate Scholarship Tax Credit program. Through this program, businesses can receive tax credits for donations to scholarship-granting organizations (SGOs) that provide scholarships to children to attend a private school of choice. To be eligible, students' family income must be below 250 percent of the federal poverty line (which was $57,625 in 2013 for a family of four). Approximately 400 students receive scholarships each year.
The Center for Education Reform reports that Rhode Island has a weak charter school law because only the state can approve charters and there is a cap o n the maximum number of charter schools that can be open in the state. As of 2013, approximately 5,132 students are enrolled in the state’s 16 charter schools, according to the National Association for Public Charter Schools.
According to Keeping Pace with K-12 Online Learning, Rhode Island has very limited online options for its students. There are no state-led online learning programs or virtual charter schools. Online courses are provided through some school districts and serve students in grades 3-12.
School choice advocates succeeded in pushing back legislation that would have ended the $1 million Corporate Scholarship Tax Credit program.
<a href="http://www.schooldatadirect.org/app/location/q/stid=40/llid=111/stllid=249/locid=40/stype=/catid=-1/secid=-1/compid=-1/site=pes">Click here for detailed information</a> on Rhode Island's public school system and see below for school choice contacts and a history of school choice legislation in Rhode Island.