A coalition of Rhode Island mayors, including Cumberland’s then-Mayor Daniel McKee (now RI’s Lt. Gov.), asked Public Impact and Martin West (then at Brown University) to analyze the state of public education in the Ocean State and in the five-town region surrounding Cumberland, which is north of Providence. The resulting report paints the picture of a state where performance lags the national average, despite very high per-pupil spending. Public Impact goes on to propose a new model of school governance–Mayoral Academies–in which a mayor-led board of trustees would contract with high-quality school providers to open new, regional public schools. RI’s general assembly passed legislation to enact the new model. Public Impact then helped McKee and Michael Magee found a nonprofit to put the model into action: Rhode Island Mayor Academies (RIMA).