URI proposes school for troubled youth
SOUTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. (AP) -- The University of Rhode Island wants to create a charter high school for at-risk youth and Training School students to help them receive diplomas and go on to graduate from college, rather than from prison.
ďż˝We want to reintegrate disenfranchised youth into secondary education,ďż˝ said university President Robert Carothers.
He said the rate of relapse into criminal behavior of young people at the Training School hovers around 80 percent. Incarceration, he said, costs the state $115,000 a year per student.
ďż˝Weďż˝re sure we can give them an education for much less than that,ďż˝ Carothers said.
Carothers said a team of educators, community leaders and law enforcement and criminal justice representatives have worked on a proposal for about two years and hope to present a more comprehensive report in the next several months.
If approved, organizers hope to open The URI Academy Charter School in 2006, accepting 40 to 50 students a year, until the school has 200 students.
The state currently has a moratorium on charter schools, however, which may delay the project, Carothers said.
He said ideally, the campus would be in South Providence, near the Community College of Rhode Island and the Met School, according to The Providence Journal.
The charter school would also serve young people who are in state care and at-risk students who have been expelled or have dropped out from high school.