RELATING TO THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
SECTION 1. Section 16-21.1-7 of the General Laws in Chapter 16-21.1 entitled
16-21.1-7. Statewide transportation of students with special needs. -- Notwithstanding the
regional structure created in this chapter, and pursuant to the obligation of school committees to transport children with
special needs to and from school either within the school district or in another school district of
the state created by 16-24-4, the department of elementary and secondary education, in
collaboration with the office of statewide planning of the department of administration, and the develop a plan for the creation and implementation of a
statewide system of transportation of students with special needs to and from school. The statewide
school transportation system for children with special needs shall be provided through a
competitive request for proposals to which vendors of transportation services may respond.
Effective upon the implementation of this statewide system of transportation for students with special
needs, each school committee shall purchase the transportation services for their own resident
students with special needs by accessing this integrated statewide system of transportation
for children with special needs on a fee-for-service basis for each child; provided, however, that any
school committee that fulfills its transportation obligations primarily through the use of
district-owned buses or district employees may continue to do so. The goals of the statewide system
of transportation for students with special needs shall be the reduction of duplication of cost
and routes in transporting children from the various cities and towns to the same special
education program providers using different buses from each city and town, the improvement of services
to children through the development of shorter ride times and more efficient routes of
travel, and the reduction of cost to local school committees through achieving efficiency in eliminating the need
for each school district to contract for and provide these specialized transportation services
separately. The department of elementary and secondary education shall submit a report of
their findings and plans to the general assembly by March 30, 2008.
SECTION 2. Section 16-21.1-8 of the General Laws in Chapter 16-21.1 entitled
Statewide transportation system for all students
to be established. --
Statewide transportation system for all students. –
(a) Notwithstanding the regional structure created in this chapter, and upon
department of elementary and secondary education, in collaboration with the office of statewide planning of the department of
administration, and the transit authority shall conduct a comprehensive study of all
current transportation services for students in implementation of a statewide system of transportation of all
students to and from school. The a
statewide school transportation system for all students
be provided through a competitive request for proposals to which vendors of transportation
services may respond. Effective upon the implementation of this statewide system of transportation for all
students, each school committee
shall purchase the transportation services for their own resident students by accessing this
integrated statewide system of transportation on a fee-for-service basis for each child; provided,
however, that any school committee that fulfills its
predominantly through the use of district-owned buses or district employees may apply for a
variance from the commissioner of education, or the commissioner’s designee, thereby requesting
that its transportation obligations continue to be achieved through the use of the buses owned by
the district and staffed by district employees.
do so. All
fees paid for transportation services
provided to students under the statewide system shall be paid into a statewide student
transportation services restricted receipt account within the department of elementary and
secondary education. Payments from the account shall be limited to payments to the
transportation service provider and transportation system consultants. This restricted receipt
account shall not be subject to the indirect cost recoveries provisions set forth in 35-4-27. The
goals of the statewide system of transportation for all students shall be the reduction of
duplication of cost and routes in transporting children from the various cities and towns using
different buses within and between each city and town, the improvement of services to children
through the development of shorter ride times and more efficient routes of travel, and the
reduction of cost to local school committees through achieving efficiency in eliminating the need
for each school district to contract for and provide
these transportation services separately.
The comprehensive study of all current transportation services for
students in districts and development of a plan for a statewide system of
transportation of all students to and from school shall be completed, with a report to the general
assembly by March 30, 2008.
(b) There shall be deducted from the final aid payment to each school district any
amounts owed to the state at the end of the fiscal year for transportation of the district’s students
under the statewide transportation system established pursuant to this section. Districts shall
receive monthly invoices summarizing the basis of the transportation fees charged. Any such
deductions in aid shall be transferred to the statewide student transportation services restricted
receipt account, as set forth in R.I.G.L. section 35-4-27.
SECTION 3. Sections 31-22.1-1, 31-22.1-2, and 31-22.1-3 of the General Laws in
Chapter 31-22.1 entitled “Pupil Transportation Vehicles” are hereby amended to read as follows:
31-22.1-1. Pupil transportation vehicle - Definition. --
A pupil transportation vehicle is a motor vehicle designed and constructed to seat not
more than eight (8) passengers
in addition to including
the operator, used by a school committee
to provide the transportation services required by law or regulation to students being conveyed
along a fixed school transportation route. In particular, such vehicles may be used to provide the
transportation services required by § 16-21-1, § 16-21.1-1, et seq., and §16-24-4 on routes in
which only small numbers of students are being conveyed.
31-22.1-2. Pupil transportation vehicle - Vehicle standards.--
Vans, sport utility vehicles, and heavy automobiles as defined by applicable federal
regulations may be used as pupil transportation vehicles provided that these vehicles meet the
highest federal crashworthiness standards for these categories of vehicles. Unless otherwise
specifically provided for herein, the provisions of § 31-20-4, et seq. (Special Stops Required)
shall be applicable to pupil transportation vehicles. The provisions of § 31-23-42 (First aid kit and
heating equipment), § 31-23-42.2 (Power equipment on school buses), § 31-23-54 (Fire
extinguishers), and § 31-23-55 (Speedometer and
and § 31-23-56 (Stop arm) shall be
applicable to pupil transportation vehicles. A pupil transportation vehicle shall not be required to
be painted school bus yellow, provided it carries a sign in school bus yellow visible from forward
and from in back of the vehicle containing the lettering required by § 31-20-11.
31-22.1-3. Equipment and operation of pupil transportation vehicles. --
No person shall operate any student transportation vehicle, and the owner or custodian of
a student transportation vehicle shall not permit the same to be operated to convey students unless
the following requirements are complied with:
(1) The operator of a pupil transportation vehicle shall not allow the number of school
students riding in the pupil transportation vehicle at any one time to exceed the number of
adequate seats therein nor shall the operator drive said bus until each student is seated.
(2) No person shall operate a pupil transportation vehicle referred to in this section, nor
knowingly allow any passenger to ride in such vehicle unless the operator and all passengers are
wearing a safety belt which is properly adjusted and fastened.
(3) All doors shall be kept closed while the pupil transportation vehicle is in motion. The
vehicle shall have an audible open door warning alarm and an audible back up warning alarm.
(4) No fueling shall take place while any pupil transportation vehicle is occupied by
(5) Each pupil transportation vehicle shall be equipped with Type I Class A turn signal
lamps, which shall have a four-way hazard warning signal switch to cause simultaneous flashing
of the turn signal lamps which may be activated when a pupil transportation vehicle is
approaching a stop to load or discharge school students and when needed as a vehicular traffic
hazard warning. Each pupil transportation vehicle shall also be equipped with front and rear
alternating flashing school bus red signal lamps, which shall remain flashing when school
pupils are entering or leaving the pupil transportation vehicle. All aforementioned lamps shall
comply with applicable Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards and any applicable rules and
regulations promulgated by the department of motor vehicles. The operator of a
pupil transportation vehicle shall cause its headlamps to be illuminated while such bus is in
(6) Any person who operates such a pupil transportation vehicle shall not permit the
boarding or discharging of school students therefrom unless the pupil transportation vehicle is
stopped as close as is practicable to the right-hand side or edge of the ways and shall announce
when discharging passengers there from that all persons who wish to cross to the other side of the
way shall do so by passing in front of the pupil transportation vehicle immediately upon alighting
therefrom. No person shall operate a
pupil transportation vehicle
on a way away from the
boarding until it is safe for
after discharging all discharged
passengers therefrom unless all persons who wish to cross to the other side have done so. The
monitor requirement of § 16-21-1
shall not apply to pupil transportation vehicles.
(7) Each pupil transportation vehicle shall be required to be equipped with one pair of
adequate chock blocks and three (3) flares in compliance with United States Motor
Vehicle D.O.T. Safety Standard No. 125, which shall be placed upon the roadway in
conformance with section 14 B of chapter 85 when such vehicle becomes disabled upon the
traveled portion of any way, and seat belts for each permanent seating accommodation designed
and installed in compliance with applicable United States Motor Vehicle Safety Standards.
(8) All pupil transportation vehicles shall include an approved emergency airway and
bodily fluid spill kits.
pupil transportation vehicles used to transport school students
provisions of this section shall display sticker as authorized by the department of motor
vehicles for a reasonable fee established by the department of motor vehicles.
persons operating a pupil transportation vehicle to convey students shall hold
shall operate a pupil transportation vehicle when
the vehicle is being used to convey students, who and has shall have passed a
written test as may be prescribed
department division of motor
vehicles. In addition, all persons who operate a pupil transportation
vehicle to convey students shall submit to a national and statewide criminal and driving record
background check by the hiring agency.
SECTION 4. Section 31-22-11.6 of the General Laws in Chapter 31-22 entitled
“Miscellaneous Rules” is hereby amended to read as follows:
31-22-11.6. Child care vehicles and school extra-curricular vehicles. --
(a) (1) Pursuant to § 31-22-10, the division of motor vehicles is authorized to promulgate
rules and regulations concerning the type, construction, and equipment of motor vehicles used for
the transportation of children to and from child care facilities and to and from school sponsored
activities including athletics and extra-curricular activities.
(2) (i) For the purposes of this section, "school bus", as referred to in § 31-1-3(v), is
defined as a vehicle which is used to carry children to or from school on school bound routes at
the outset of the children's school day and/or on home bound routes at the end of the children's
school day. For these routes, a school bus or a pupil transportation vehicle as set forth in § 31-
22.1-1 and § 31-22.1-2 must be used regardless of the number of students being transported.
(ii) For purposes of this section, "school extra-curricular vehicles" is defined as
vehicles designed to transport fewer than fifteen (15) students to and from school sponsored
activities including athletics, internships, work experiences, and extra-curricular activities where
school buses are not used because of the small number of students being transported.
(iii) For the purpose of this section, "child care vehicle" is defined as a motor
vehicle owned or leased by a licensed child care agency that does not exceed fifteen (15)
passengers and is being used to transport children from schools to child care facilities and/or from
child care facilities to schools. Two (2) door sedans shall not be considered child care vehicles or
school extra-curricular vehicles.
(b) The division of motor vehicles shall have the authority to suspend the registration of
any vehicle used for child care transportation or school extra-curricular transportation that does
not meet the following requirements:
(1) Seating. Adequate seating space for all passengers shall be provided. The maximum
seating capacity of a child care vehicle and school extra-curricular vehicle shall be fifteen (15)
persons, including the driver. No standing shall be permitted while the vehicle is in operation.
(2) Safety belts. Safety belts shall be required for all passengers riding in the child care
vehicle and school extra-curricular vehicle.
(3) Vehicle registration. All child care vehicles and school extra-curricular vehicles shall
be registered as public vehicles.
(4) Vehicle inspection. All child care vehicles and school extra-curricular vehicles shall
be inspected for excessive emissions and/or safety items according to a staggered appointment
schedule as determined by the director of revenue, or his or her designee, and from time to time
thereafter as may be required, and the vehicle owner shall display upon the vehicle the certificate
of inspection and approval issued to the vehicle until the certificate shall expire.
(5) Inspector's rejection notice. The director of revenue, or his or her designee, may affix
a notice of rejection to any vehicle that fails to pass the required inspection requirements. The
rejection notice shall not be destroyed or removed from the vehicle until the vehicle has passed
the inspection requirements, or its removal has been authorized by the director of revenue or his
or her designee.
(6) (i) Vehicle identification. Any and all child care vehicles and school extra-
curricular vehicles must have the name of the child care organization conspicuously placed on the
side of the vehicle. The identification shall be required to possess two inch (2") letters, and be
permanently affixed on the side of the vehicle.
(ii) Should any child care vehicle and school extra-curricular vehicle be a leased vehicle,
the vehicle shall forego the requirement of having the name of the child care facility or school
permanently affixed to the side of the vehicle, but instead may satisfy the identification
requirement by placing a magnetized sign naming the child care facility or school or any other
temporarily affixed apparatus; provided, that the temporary identification sign not be
interchanged, replaced, or modified to change the purpose or function of the child care
vehicle and school extra-curricular vehicle.
(7) (i) Fire extinguisher. The child care vehicle and school extra-curricular vehicle shall
be equipped with at least one pressurized, potassium bicarbonate base dry chemical-type fire
extinguisher, mounted in the manufacturer's extinguisher bracket, and located in the driver's
compartment in full view of and readily accessible to the driver. A pressure gauge shall be
mounted on the extinguisher so as to be easily read without removing the extinguisher from its
(ii) The fire extinguisher shall have a minimum capacity of not less than two and a half
pounds (21/2 lbs.) and be of a type approved by the Underwriters Laboratories, Inc., with a rating
of not less than ten (10) B:C. The operating mechanism shall be sealed with a type of seal that
will not interfere with use of the fire extinguisher.
(8) First-Aid, Airway, and Bodily Fluid Spill kits. Every child care vehicle and school
extra-curricular vehicle shall be equipped with a first-aid kit mounted in an area accessible to the
operator which consists of bandages, sterile pads, adhesive tape, and Band-Aids, as well as an
approved Emergency Airway Kit, for use in the administration of first-aid treatment. In addition,
every child care vehicle and school extra-curricular vehicle shall be equipped with a bodily fluid
(9) Each vehicle shall also have an audible door alarm and an audible back up alarm.
(10) All persons operating a pupil transportation vehicle to convey children shall hold a
department of motor vehicles. In addition, all such persons who operate a pupil transportation
vehicle to convey children shall submit to a national and statewide criminal and driving record
background check by the hiring agency.
School extra-curricular vehicles purchased after January 1, 2000
comply with regulations which the division of motor vehicles is authorized to promulgate which
require these vehicles to meet appropriate safety standards. The additional safety requirements of
this subsection shall, effective January 1, 2008, also apply to school extra-curricular vehicles in
service prior to January 1, 2000, which are still in service after January 1, 2008.
SECTION 5. Chapter 16-26 of the General Laws entitled "School for the Deaf" is hereby
amended by adding thereto the following section:
16-26-12. Other sources of funding. -- (a) The 2009 general assembly, through the FY
2010 appropriation act, established a fee for a service program, also known as a tuition program,
for the Rhode Island school for the deaf effective July 1, 2009 in accordance with the fee
structure developed and implemented by the department of elementary and secondary education.
Under this fee for service program, and the provisions
7.1 notwithstanding, districts shall be assessed tuition to cover the costs of educational services
that are additional to the core deaf and hard-of-hearing education program that is provided to
resident students at the
(b) Tuition assessed at the school for the deaf to cover costs of educational services that
are additional to the core deaf and hard-of-hearing education program shall be based on a
graduated tuition schedule correlating to the varying needs of students. Districts shall receive
three (3) times each school year, invoices summarizing the basis for the tuition charged. There
shall be deducted from the final aid payment to each school district at the end of the fiscal year
any amounts owed to the state for these additional educational services. All tuition paid by
districts and any aid deducted for non-payment shall be deposited in a restricted receipt account
and shall be exempt from the indirect cost recovery provisions of section 35-4-7.
(c) The school for the deaf is hereby authorized to rent or lease space in its school
building. The school shall deposit any revenues from such agreements into a restricted receipt
account, to be known as the school for the deaf rental income account, to be used for the same
educational purposes that its state appropriation is used. Any such rental agreements must receive
prior approval from the school's board of trustees and by the state properties committee.
SECTION 6. Relating to Regional Vocational Schools - Section 16-45-6 of the General
Laws in Chapter 16-45 entitled “Regional Vocational Schools” is hereby amended to read as
16-45-6. Powers additional to previous authority. -- (a) The powers delegated and
authorized in this chapter for the board of regents for elementary and secondary education and the
department of elementary and secondary education shall be in addition to those previously
authorized by any other general or public law.
(b) The governance, funding, and programming of the William M. Davies, Jr. vocational
technical school and the Metropolitan Career and
the rules and regulations formulated by the board of regents for elementary and secondary
education pursuant to chapter 35 of title 42. Provided, however, the additional appropriation by
the General Assembly in fiscal year 2005 for the William M. Davies, Jr. Vocational Technical
School shall be used to fund sixty (60) additional placements. Forty (40) of those placements
shall be made available to students from the City of
(c) The purpose of this chapter is to restructure the system of career and technical schools
paramount aim is to enable the schools to make more significant contributions in providing the
state's students with the career preparation they need to compete and succeed in the world of
today and of the future. To ensure student success, a system of model career and technical schools
will be established and supported. These schools will provide: integrated academic and vocational
curricula, up to date technology, programs to meet the varying needs of all students, and strong
links to business, industry, postsecondary education, and the community.
(d)(1) There shall be a system of state operated career and technical schools serving
geographic areas of the state. Students attending these regional schools will do so on a full time
basis with the costs for their education at the regional school fully funded by the state.
(2) These schools shall be operated as local education agencies and each shall be
governed by a board of trustees. With the exception of those powers and duties reserved by the
director, the commissioner of elementary and secondary education, and the board of regents for
elementary and secondary education, the board of trustees shall have the powers and duties of
school committees. The Davies school shall be the first school operated under the provisions of
this chapter and shall be renamed the William M. Davies, Jr. career and technical high school.
The Metropolitan Career and
provisions of this chapter.
(e)(1) The board of regents for elementary and secondary education shall appoint the
members of the board of trustees from nominations made by the commissioner of elementary and
secondary education. The chairperson shall also be selected in this manner. The board of regents
shall determine the number, qualifications, and terms of office of members of the board of
trustees. The board of trustees will be broadly representative of the local communities served by
each school and the larger statewide workforce interests.
(2) The board of regents shall establish strategic directions for the career and technical
education system that are consistent with the state's economic development plans, workforce
requirements, and educational priorities and learner outcomes established by the board of regents.
(3) The board of regents shall provide parameters for the overall budget requests, approve
the budget, and participate in budget development as required in subsection (i).
(f)(1) The commissioner of elementary and secondary education shall recommend
parameters for the overall budget requests, recommend a budget and participate in budget
development as required in subsection (i).
(2) The commissioner shall approve the process for selection of a director of each
regional school. The commissioner shall develop a plan for statewide implementation of the
provisions of this chapter.
(g) The board of trustees shall meet monthly and serve without compensation. Nine (9)
members of the board of trustees shall be required to attend teacher appeal hearings conducted
pursuant to § 16-13-4. The board of trustees shall have broad policy making authority for the
operation of the school consistent with subsection (e) and the following powers and duties:
(1) To identify the educational needs of the communities in the district.
(2) To develop educational policies to meet the needs of students in the communities
served by the school district.
(3) To appoint a director of its regional school to serve as its chief executive officer and
to approve assistant and associate directors from nominations made by the director.
(4) To provide policy guidance and participate in budget development as required in
(5) To develop staffing policies which ensure that all students are taught by educators of
the highest possible quality.
(h)(1) The director will serve at the pleasure of the board of trustees with the initial
appointment to be for a period of not more than three (3) years, provided, that the term and
conditions of employment are subject to the approval of the board of regents for elementary and
(2) It is the responsibility of the director to manage and operate the school on a day to day
basis. The director's duties shall include the following:
(i) To be responsible for the entire care, supervision, and management of the career and
technical high school.
(ii) To recommend to the board of trustees educational policies to meet the needs of the
district, and to implement policies established by the board of trustees.
(iii) To present nominations to the board of trustees for assistant and associate directors
and to appoint all other school personnel.
(iv) To provide for the evaluation of all school district personnel.
(v) To establish a school based management approach for decision making for the
operation of the school.
(vi) To prepare a budget and participate in budget development as required in subsection
(i), and to authorize purchases consistent with the adopted school district budget.
(vii) To report to the board of trustees on a regular basis the financial condition and
operation of the school, and to report annually on the educational progress of the school.
(viii) To establish appropriate advisory committees as needed to provide guidance on new
directions and feedback on the operation of the school.
(i) With policy guidance from the board of trustees and extensive involvement of the
administrators and faculty in the school, the director of each regional school shall annually
prepare a budget. The board of trustees will approve the budget and transmit it to the
commissioner. The board of regents for elementary and secondary education, upon
recommendation of the commissioner of elementary and secondary education, shall provide
parameters for the overall budget request. Based on review and recommendation by the
commissioner, the board of regents shall approve the total budget and incorporate it into its
budget request to the governor and to the general assembly. Line item budgeting decisions shall
be the responsibility of the director.
(j) Nothing in this section shall be deemed to limit or interfere with the rights of teachers
and other school employees to bargain collectively pursuant to chapters 9.3 and 9.4 of title 28 or
to allow the board of trustees or the director to abrogate any agreement by collective bargaining.
Employees at the William M. Davies school shall continue to be state employees and the
bargaining units which are presently established at the school shall remain intact.
(k) Any tuition payments, which are made to the William M. Davies Career and
Technical high school from the district of residence of its students, as authorized in R.I.G.L.
section 16-7.2-5, shall be deposited into a restricted receipt account to be used for the same
educational purposes that its state appropriation is used. Any such funds shall be exempt from the
indirect cost recovery provisions of section 35-4-7.
SECTION 7. Relating to Restricted Receipt Accounts - Section 35-4-27 of the General
Laws in Chapter 35-4 entitled “State Funds” is hereby amended to read as follows:
35-4-27. Indirect cost recoveries on restricted receipt accounts. -- Indirect cost
recoveries of ten percent (10%) of cash receipts shall be transferred from all restricted receipt
accounts, to be recorded as general revenues in the general fund. However, there shall be no
transfer from cash receipts with restrictions received exclusively: (1) from contributions from
non-profit charitable organizations; (2) from the assessment of indirect cost recovery rates on
federal grant funds; or (3) through transfers from state agencies to the department of
administration for the payment of debt service. These indirect cost recoveries shall be applied to
all accounts, unless prohibited by federal law or regulation, court order, or court settlement. The
following restricted receipt accounts shall not be subject to the provisions of this section:
Department of Human Services
Veterans' home – Restricted account
Veterans' home – Resident benefits
Organ transplant fund
Veteran's Cemetery Memorial Fund
Department of Health
Pandemic medications and equipment account
Department of Mental Health, Retardation and Hospitals
Eleanor Slater non-Medicaid third-party payor account
Hospital Medicare Part D Receipts
RICLAS Group Home Operations
Vigneron Memorial Fund Grant
Department of Environmental Management
National heritage revolving fund
Environmental response fund II
Underground storage tanks registration fees
Art for public facilities fund
Historic preservation revolving loan fund
Historic Preservation loan fund – Interest revenue
Department of Public Safety
Forfeited property – Retained
Forfeitures – Federal
Forfeited property – Gambling
Donation – Polygraph and Law Enforcement Training
Rhode Island State Firefighter’s League Training Account
Forfeiture of property
Attorney General multi-state account
Department of Administration
Restore and replacement – Insurance coverage
Convention Center Authority rental payments
Investment Receipts – TANS
Car Rental Tax/Surcharge-Warwick Share
OPEB System Restricted Receipt Account
ARRA Administrative Expenses – Bureau of Audits
ARRA Administrative Expenses – Purchasing
Audit of federal assisted programs
Department of Elderly Affairs
Pharmaceutical Rebates Account
Department of Children Youth and Families
Children's Trust Accounts – SSI
RI Military Family Relief Fund
Admin. Expenses – State Retirement System
Retirement – Treasury Investment Options
Banking Division Reimbursement Account
Office of the Health Insurance Commissioner Reimbursement Account
Securities Division Reimbursement Account
Commercial Licensing and Racing and Athletics Division Reimbursement Account
Insurance Division Reimbursement Account
Historic Preservation Tax Credit Account.
Arbitration Fund Restricted Receipt Account
Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
Statewide Student Transportation Services Account
School for the Deaf Fee for Service Account
Office of the Governor
ARRA Administrative Expenses – Office of Economic Recovery and Reinvestment
Department of Labor and Training
Job Development Fund – Title XII loans principal and interest
SECTION 8. Section 5 of this Article, except for the fee for service program, which
became effective on July 1, 2009, shall take effect upon passage and apply retroactively to July 1,
2010. The remainder of this article shall take effect upon passage.