By Steve Klamkin WPRO News
Rhode Island will continue to pay for courses that give college credit to high school students in the 2016-2016 school year, after more than 4,000 students took advantage of the program last year, said Governor Gina Raimondo.
At Central High School in Providence Tuesday, Raimondo said the state will continue the “Prepare RI” program, using $1.3 million appropriated by the General Assembly.
“I’m always up for more free money,” joked Central senior Tyrone Lindsey, who said he’d taken several college classes through the program, which covers the $200 cost of each course.
“My family, we’re not a rich family at all,” said fellow senior Jaislene Vinas. “I’m low income, and having this advantage to have a college course in high school … is definitely preparing me and I’m very lucky,” she said.
Vinas said she’s taken “Advanced Placement” English and a URI writing course. This year, she’s taking AP environmental science, AP calculus and AP literature. “It’s definitely tough, but I’m sure I can handle it,” she said.
“What’s happening is students are getting to college and they’re being placed in remediation courses,” said Rhode Island Education Commissioner Ken Wagner. “Which means, they’re paying college prices for things that they should have learned while they were in high school. And it’s a scam.”
“The average middle class family struggles with paying for college,” said Gov. Raimondo. “I run into parents every day who say ‘this is a terrific program, thanks governor, it’s making college a reality for my family’.”