2007 -- H 5286 SUBSTITUTE A
A N A C T
RELATING TO EDUCATION
Introduced By: Representatives Silva, Lewiss, Vaudreuil, Melo, and Shanley
Date Introduced: February 01, 2007
It is enacted by the General Assembly as follows:
SECTION 1. Sections 16-2-5.1 and 16-2-9 of the General Laws in Chapter 16-2 entitled
"School Committees and Superintendents" are hereby amended to read as follows:
16-2-5.1. Professional development. -- (a) The Rhode Island College in cooperation
with the Rhode Island association of school committees shall develop a professional development
educational program for Rhode Island school committees, that will include instruction in labor
and labor relations, negotiating collective bargaining agreements, employee contract analysis,
school finance, school law; duties and responsibilities of the committee, duties and
responsibilities of the superintendent, ethics, the requirements of the open meetings law, student
achievement, strategic planning, educational standards, student assessment, school accountability,
data interpretation and analysis, collaboration building, advocacy, annual performance evaluation
of the school superintendent and the local school committee, and any other topics as the Rhode
Island association of school committees may deem to be necessary.
(b) In conformity with section 16-60-4(15), the board of regents for elementary and
secondary education shall approve the professional development program and create a process for
recognizing school committee members that successfully complete the program in part or in
16-2-9. General powers and duties of school committees. -- (a) The entire care,
control, and management of all public school interests of the several cities and towns shall be
vested in the school committees of the several cities and towns. School committees shall have, in
addition to those enumerated in this title, the following powers and duties:
(1) To identify educational needs in the community.
(2) To develop education policies to meet the needs of the community.
(3) To provide for and assure the implementation of federal and state laws, the
regulations of the board of regents for elementary and secondary education, and of local school
policies, programs, and directives.
(4) To provide for the evaluation of the performance of the school system.
(5) To have responsibility for the care and control of local schools.
(6) To have overall policy responsibility for the employment and discipline of school
(7) To approve a master plan defining goals and objectives of the school system. These
goals and objectives shall be expressed in terms of what men and women should know and be
able to do as a result of their educational experience. The committee shall periodically evaluate
the efforts and results of education in light of these objectives.
(8) To provide for the location, care, control, and management of school facilities and
(9) To adopt a school budget to submit to the local appropriating authority.
(10) To adopt any changes in the school budget during the course of the school year.
(11) To approve expenditures in the absence of a budget, consistent with state law.
(12) To employ a superintendent of schools and assign any compensation and other
terms and conditions as the school committee and superintendent shall agree, provided that in no
event shall the term of employment of the superintendent exceed three (3) years. Nothing
contained in this chapter shall be construed as invalidating or impairing a contract of a school
committee with a school superintendent in force on May 12, 1978.
(13) To give advice and consent on the appointment by the superintendent of all school
(14) To establish minimum standards for personnel, to adopt personnel policies, and to
approve a table of organization.
(15) To establish standards for the evaluation of personnel.
(16) To establish standards for conduct in the schools and for disciplinary actions.
(17) To hear appeals from disciplinary actions.
(18) To enter into contracts.
(19) To publish policy manuals which shall include all school committee policies.
(20) To establish policies governing curriculum, courses of instruction, and text books.
(21) To provide for transportation services which meet or exceed standards of the board
of regents for elementary and secondary education.
(22) To make any reports to the department of education as are required by the board of
regents for elementary and secondary education.
(23) To delegate, consistent with law, any responsibilities to the superintendent as the
committee may deem appropriate.
(24) To address the health and wellness of students and employees.
(25) To establish a subcommittee of the school board or committee to decrease obesity
and address school health and wellness policies for students and employees consistent with
(b) Nothing in this section shall be deemed to limit or interfere with the rights of teachers
and other school employees to collectively bargain pursuant to chapters 9.3 and 9.4 of title 28 or
to allow any school committee to abrogate any agreement reached by collective bargaining.
(c) The school committees of each city, town, or regional school district shall have the
power to bind their successors and successor committees by entering into contracts of
employment in the exercise of their governmental functions.
(d) Notwithstanding any provisions of the general laws to the contrary, the requirement
defined in subsections (d) through (f) of this section shall apply. The school committee of each
school district shall be responsible for maintaining a school budget which does not result in a
(e) The school committee shall, within thirty (30) days after the close of the first and
second quarters of the state's fiscal year, adopt a budget as may be necessary to enable it to
operate without incurring a debt, as described in subsection (d).
(f) In the event that any obligation, encumbrance, or expenditure by a superintendent of
schools or a school committee is in excess of the amount budgeted or that any revenue is less than
the amount budgeted, the school committee shall within five (5) working days of its discovery of
potential or actual over expenditure or revenue deficiency submit a written statement of the
amount of and cause for the over obligation or over expenditure or revenue deficiency to the city
or town council president and any other person who by local charter or statute serves as the city
or town's executive officer; the statement shall further include a statement of the school
committee's plan for corrective actions necessary to meet the requirements of subsection (d). The
plan shall be approved by the auditor general.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect upon passage.