Chapter 388

2011 -- H 6055 SUBSTITUTE A

Enacted 07/13/11





     Introduced By: Representatives Ferri, Slater, Messier, McNamara, and Malik

     Date Introduced: April 13, 2011


It is enacted by the General Assembly as follows:


     SECTION 1. Title 16 of the General Laws entitled "EDUCATION" is hereby amended

by adding thereto the following chapter:





     16-95-1. Short title. -- This chapter shall be known and may be cited as "The Recovery

High Schools Act."


     16-95-2. Definitions. -- As used in this chapter, the following words shall have the

following meaning unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

     (1) "Recovery High School" means a public school or a special education program

licensed by RIDE that: (i) Serves students diagnosed with substance use disorder or dependency,

as defined by the diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders IV-TR; and (ii) Provides

both comprehensive four (4) year high school education and a structured plan of recovery.

     (2) "Board of regents" means the Rhode Island board of regents for elementary and

secondary education.

     (3) "Commissioner" means the Rhode Island commissioner of elementary and secondary


     (4) "RIDE" means the Rhode Island department of elementary and secondary education.

     (5) "Sending school district" means the district where the student attending or planning to

attend a recovery high school resides, and that, upon recommendation of a clinician licensed

pursuant to chapter 42-35, refers the student for enrollment.


     16-95-3. Recovery high schools established. -- (a) The commissioner is hereby

authorized to create a pilot recovery high school for the purposes of demonstrating the

effectiveness of this model in Rhode Island. Any currently licensed entities eligible to establish a

recovery high school, as defined in subdivision 16-93-2(1), may submit a proposal to operate a

pilot recovery high school to the commissioner no later than December 1st of the school year

before the school year in which the recovery high school is to begin operation. The approval of

the board of regents shall be required in order for the recovery high school to begin operation.

     (b) By approval of the proposal upon the recommendation of the commissioner, the board

of regents will be deemed to have authorized all necessary variances from regulations enumerated

in the proposal.

     (c) After two (2) years of operation, the pilot recovery high school will be required to

submit an analysis demonstrating the educational outcomes, including, but not limited to,

graduation rates, retention rates, course performance, and performance on the state assessment

attained through the pilot to the commissioner.


     16-95-4. Transfer of aid. -- (a) Any school district in Rhode Island that may have a

student or students who are currently or were last enrolled in said district and who are considered

by the sending district to be both clinically and academically appropriate for referral to a Rhode

Island recovery high school may be referred for voluntary enrollment in such school. If said

student is admitted to said school, the sending school district shall ensure that payment pursuant

to subsection (b) herein for students who attend the recovery high school is paid, and further, that

upon completion of all other graduation requirements, said student or students shall receive a


     (b) A sending school district shall transfer the per pupil allotment it receives pursuant to

chapter 16-7.2 ("The Education Equity and Property Tax Relief Act") to a recovery high school

for any student attending the recovery high school and meeting the following criteria: (1) The

student is currently enrolled in the district or currently resides in the municipality in which the

district is located; (2) The student is considered by a clinician licensed pursuant to 42-35, to be

clinically appropriate, using the criteria for substance use disorders as defined in the diagnostic

and statistical manual of mental disorders IV-TR; and (3) The student meets all matriculation

criteria as outlined by the sending district and the department of elementary and secondary

education, with determination of academic eligibility based on existing documentation provided

by the district. The district and the recovery high school shall arrange to confer a diploma when a

student completes state and district-mandated graduation requirements. The local share of

education funding shall be paid to the recovery high school in the same manner as the local share

of education funding is paid to charter public schools, the William M. Davies, Jr. Career and

Technical High School, and the Metropolitan Regional Career and Technical Center, as outlined

in section 16-7.2-5.

     (c) A recovery high school shall submit to the board of regents academic data considered

necessary by the board to provide information regarding each student's academic performance,

subject to applicable health confidentiality laws and regulations.

     (d) The board of regents, in consultation with the department of behavioral health,

developmental disabilities and hospitals shall promulgate rules and regulations as necessary to

implement and carry out the intent of this chapter.


     SECTION 2. This act shall take effect upon passage.



LC02350/SUB A