TITLE 16
Education

CHAPTER 16-45
Regional Vocational Schools [See Title 16 Chapter 97 – The Rhode Island Board of Education Act]

SECTION 16-45-6


§ 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 Technical School shall be in accordance with 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 Providence.

(c) The purpose of this chapter is to restructure the system of career and technical schools in Rhode Island for the benefit of the students, the economy, and the general welfare. The 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 being shared by the state and the district of residence as described in § 16-7.2-5. State schools currently participating in the state retirement system that are not receiving reimbursement pursuant to § 16-16-22 shall have their state aid adjusted to reflect full reimbursement for expenses related to employer retirement contributions for those staff employed 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 Technical School shall be the second school operated under the 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 subsection (i).

(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 secondary education.

(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. § 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 § 35-4-7.

History of Section.
(P.L. 1964, ch. 8, § 1; P.L. 1991, ch. 250, § 1; P.L. 1994, ch. 62, § 1; P.L. 2002, ch. 65, art. 18, § 2; P.L. 2004, ch. 595, art. 23, § 4; P.L. 2010, ch. 124, § 3; P.L. 2010, ch. 125, § 3; P.L. 2011, ch. 151, art. 10, § 6.)