The debate over the state's education funding formula, signed into law by Governor Carcieri yesterday, has focused largely on winners and losers: which communities get more state aid and which get less. By that measure, the state's large, urban districts - shortchanged in the past - do quite well. Providence gets almost $30 million more, Pawtucket gets a $7.4 million boost, and Woonsocket pulls in $4.2 million in additonal state aid.
But a handful of elected officials and policy wonks in several of the state's urban communities say they should have received more - charging the state's department of education, which crafted the formula, with directing money to the hometown of a key legislator, Senate President M. Teresa Paiva Weed of Newport. Education Commissioner Deborah Gist strongly disputes the accusation. I've got the story in this week's Phoenix.