Jason Becker on Rhode Island's education funding formula
by Bob Plain, RI Future


659 Jason Becker worked as a consultant, with Brown professor Kenneth Wong and Mary-Stuart Kilner, to develop the state education funding formula that was presented to and then approved by the General Assembly in 2010 and is being contested by Pawtucket and Woonsocket at the state Supreme Court today.

In a deep-dive conversation into how the funding formula functions, Becker said he doesn’t think an adequate education for all public school students is a constitutional right in Rhode Island. Adequate funding is the basis of Woonsocket and Pawtucket’s lawsuit. 

“That’s sort of the right philosophical frame and it’s sometimes the direct language used,” he said, “but that’s just not the language in the Rhode Island Constitution . There’s actually no right to an adequate education or an effective education. The only lines we have about education in the state Constitution is that the General Assembly should promote education.”