§ 16-22.1-2 Legislative findings.
The legislature hereby finds and declares the following:
(1) A well-educated population benefits Rhode Island, supports its communities, enhances the standard of living for all of its citizens, increases its capacity for success, and lays the foundation for shared prosperity.
(2) Students in Rhode Island's public elementary, secondary, and postsecondary schools and institutions should be able to take advantage of as many opportunities as possible to support and extend their learning. Their learning opportunities should allow them to acquire the knowledge and technology skills that will allow them to contribute to and participate in a digital world.
(3) The number and type of virtual learning programs and courses have increased considerably, and the prevalence of virtual learning continues to grow. Virtual learning utilizes the power and scalability of technology to remove the constraints of traditional classroom learning, which can allow Rhode Island's students to access personalized learning at any time, in any place, and in ways that complement and extend traditional school settings.
(4) Public schools, school districts, and postsecondary institutions in Rhode Island should have the freedom to work with teachers, families, and students to create customizable learning opportunities that incorporate technology and reflect effective practices.
(5) The freedom that comes from technologically-supported opportunities to learn must be accompanied by a clear responsibility to ensure that such opportunities are of high quality, consistent with state standards for teaching and instruction, fulfill high school graduation requirements, reflect the principles of equity and access, and include accountability provisions that assure citizens that any investment of public tax dollars is well spent.
(6) Rhode Island is one of a few states that has not established the kind of statewide policies on virtual education that will create the optimal conditions for effective learning and instruction.
(7) The general assembly therefore finds that it is in the best interests of the people of the state of Rhode Island to enact the Rhode Island statewide virtual education act to create comprehensive regulations that will result in high quality, integrated virtual K-20 learning experiences that will engage and challenge students through structured, sustained study.
(P.L. 2012, ch. 250, § 1; P.L. 2012, ch. 268, § 1.)