A N A C T
RELATING TO EDUCATION
It is enacted by the General Assembly as follows:
SECTION 1. Section 16-23-2 of the General Laws in Chapter 16-23 entitled "Textbooks" is hereby amended to read as follows:
16-23-2. Loan of textbooks -- (a) The school committee of every community as it is defined in section 16-7-16 shall furnish upon request at the expense of the community textbooks in the field of mathematics, science, and modern foreign languages appearing on the list of textbooks published by the commissioner of elementary and secondary education as provided in section 16-23-3, to all pupils of elementary and secondary school grades resident in the community, the textbooks to be loaned to the pupils free of charge, subject to such rules and regulations as to care and custody as the school committee may prescribe.
(b) Every school committee shall also furnish at the expense of the community all other textbooks and school supplies used in the public schools of the community, the other textbooks and supplies to be loaned to the pupils of the public schools free of charge, subject to such rules and regulations as to care and custody as the school committee may prescribe. School books removed from school use may be distributed to pupils, and any textbook may become the property of a pupil who has completed the use of it in school, subject to rules and regulations prescribed by the school committee.
(c) Nothing in this section shall be construed to forbid requiring or accepting from a pupil a deposit of a reasonable amount of money as a guaranty for the return of school property other than the books and supplies required herein to be loaned free of charge, provided that the school committee shall make suitable rules and regulations for the safekeeping and return of deposits, and provided further, that in establishing schedules for deposits, the school committee shall include provisions for waiver of deposit due to financial hardship.
SECTION 2. Section 16-38-6 of the General Laws in Chapter 16-38 entitled "Offenses Pertaining to Schools" is hereby amended to read as follows:
Commercial activities prohibited -- Conduct of teachers. Restrictions on commercial activity and fundraising in public schools. -- Except under authorization of the department of elementary and secondary education or rules and regulations promulgated from time to time by the school committees of the several towns and cities, no teacher employed in any public school (a) No public school official or public school employee shall, for any purpose whatsoever, solicit, or exact , or receive from any pupil in any public school any contribution or gift of money or any article of value, or any pledge to contribute any money or article of value. Except the sale of school lunches under rules and regulations prescribed by the school committee of the town or city, no article shall be sold or offered for sale to public school pupils or teachers on any public school premises, nor shall any article be sold through the agency of pupils in the public schools. No teacher in any public school shall solicit or receive from the pupils subscriptions for any newspaper, periodical, or magazine, or act as agent directly or indirectly for the distribution of a publication in the public schools; nor shall any teacher in any public school, at any time other than during the regular summer vacation of the public schools, accept any fee or gift for the tutoring of any child regularly under his or her instruction; nor shall any person distribute through or in the public schools or to children on their way to or from school any circular, sample, package, coupon, ticket, or other similar advertising matter. This section shall not be construed to forbid requiring or accepting from a pupil a deposit of a reasonable amount of money as a guaranty for the return of school property other than the books and supplies required by section 16-23-2 to be loaned free of charge, provided that the school committee shall make suitable rules and regulations for the safekeeping and return of the deposits; nor shall it be construed to forbid the acquisition by pupils at reasonable prices of articles made in industrial, manual training, domestic arts, or other similar classes, under suitable rules and regulations adopted by the school committee. No public school teacher shall accept payment for tutoring directly from the parents of a student under his or her instruction. If a teacher is to be assigned and compensated as a tutor for a student under his or her instruction, such assignment and compensation must be through the school department pursuant to policies and procedures adopted by the school committee. However, nothing herein shall be interpreted to prohibit a teacher from tutoring a student who is not concurrently under his or her instruction in the public school and receiving compensation for such tutoring from the parents of the student.
(b) No commercial goods or services shall be sold to students in the public schools or on public school property, nor shall any commercial materials (flyers, literature, advertisements, commercial materials or solicitations) be sent home with students from the public school, except as authorized pursuant to policies and procedures adopted by the local school committee, which shall, at a minimum, address the following:
(1) The conduct and financial accountability of public school employees and public school officials engaged in commercial activities for the benefit of public schools;
(2) The use of schoolchildren to deliver commercial materials to parents.
(c) Any approved fundraising activity shall be conducted on a voluntary basis and in accordance with rules and regulations promulgated by the school committee, which shall at a minimum, address the following:
(1) The conduct and financial accountability of public school employees and public school officials engaged in fundraising activities for the benefit of public schools;
(2) The specific circumstances, if any, under which door to door solicitations and door to door sales by public school students for fundraising;
(3) The use of schoolchildren to deliver fundraising materials to parents.
(d) Within sixty (60) days of passage of this act, the commissioner of elementary and secondary education shall provide technical assistance to assist the school committees of the several towns and cities in the formulation of the local policies and procedures mandated by this section.
SECTION 3. This act shall take effect upon passage.