Nearly all of Rhode Island's 306 public schools are in need of repairs. 2.2 billion is needed to cover facility deficiency costs or 3 billion to cover 5-Year life cycle of all the schools. 70% of the 306 schools are in poor or worse condition 18 of which are in need of replacement. As far as enrollment goes 34% of the schools are under aspirational capacity, 51% are over functional capacity and 20% are over the LEA reported capacity.

Rhode Island has 177 elementary schools, nearly 3x that of high schools. Elementary schools average about 350 kids per school and high schools around 680. The elementary schools have the highest number of enrollments, as such 80% of elementary schools meet their aspirational capacity, however 67% of them are over functional capacity. 74% of elementary school are poor or worse condition with 12 of them part of the 18 in need of replacement. A Total of $880,000,000 (880m) is needed to fix deficiencies in the elementary schools.

Elementary Schools

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Of the 50 middle schools in RI 64% of middle schools are in poor or worse condition and only 1 in need of replacement. 56% meet aspirational utilization and only 24% are over functional capacity. 500 million is needed to fix the deficiencies in all the middle schools.

Middle Schools

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Lastly high schools, only 43% of RI high schools meet aspirational capacity with 33% being over functional capacity. 56% of high schools are in poor or worse condition with 5 of them in need of replacement. About 750m is needed to repair deficiencies in the high schools.

High Schools

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Out of all of the 18 schools in need of replacement, only 1 of them fails to meet the aspirational capacity. Sadly it is the largest of the bunch, Rogers. Rogers High School is at 53.2% utilization, 518 students short of capacity. However this isn't the only school that is drastically under enrollment. My former high school Vets, was transformed into a middle school and is now only at 38% utilization lacking a whopping 731 students.

This leads to the question of what to do about these schools. It doesn't make sense to keep funding a school to hold over 1000 students and not even filling it with 1/2 that. Should districts consolidate schools? Repurpose larger buildings with multiple grades (elementary + middle) or keep funding 1/2 empty schools while nearly 70% are in crummy conditions. One things for sure, I don't envy the people who need to make these decisions.

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