§ 16-67-4. Funding.
(a) Funding of programs. The programs described in this chapter shall be funded as follows:
(1) Screening for all children first entering school. This program shall be supported by an annual appropriation. All children first entering school will be screened. Allocations to school districts will be determined by the commissioner of elementary and secondary education.
(2) Literacy focus in instruction in kindergarten through grade three (3) for all students and supplementary literacy instruction for educationally disadvantaged students in grades Kindergarten through twelve (12).
(i) These (2) programs shall be supported by funds set aside from the state operations aid to be provided to school districts; these programs may be supported with funds from the Educational Improvement Block Grant. The amount to be set aside will be four percent (4%) in each fiscal year. Each district will be informed of the set aside amount by November 1 of each year. The full set aside amount will be available for use by the district. Use of this set aside amount will be based on a plan submitted by local school districts to the department of elementary and secondary education for approval. All funds must be used to supplement, not supplant, existing activities. Use of these funds must be coordinated with other funds, including Chapter I and Section 4 funds. Provided, that the commissioner of elementary and secondary education may waive the requirement for use of all or part of the set aside amount for these purposes when it is shown to his or her satisfaction that the ongoing level of literacy instruction meets the standards set with regard to student achievement of the specified outcomes in literacy. The commissioner must respond to this request for waiver within sixty (60) days of receipt of the request. If no action is taken by the commissioner within the sixty (60) days time period the request shall be deemed approved.
(ii) The commissioner shall consider and shall address in a written decision each of the following factors in reaching a decision on whether or not a waiver shall be granted: (A) the average standardized test scores for the school district and each school within the district; (B) the number and percent of students in the school district who fall below the cut-off score established by the commissioner; (C) whether or not the scores and number of students referenced to in (A) and (B) have improved over the preceding three (3) years; (D) the percent of students for each of the preceding three (3) years who failed to graduate from high school; (E) the extent to which the literacy program of the district includes provision for: (I) integrating the literacy skills of reading, writing, speaking, and listening, (II) incorporating the literacy skills across content areas, (III) supplementing the basal reader program with the use of literature, (IV) incorporating process writing into the language arts curriculum, (V) supplementing instruction in literacy skills for low achieving students; and (F) the pupil teacher ratio in grades kindergarten through three (3). The commissioner will reply in detail to the community within the sixty (60) day period giving reasons for approval or denial of waiver.
(3) Dropout prevention programs. These programs shall be supported by an annual appropriation. Projects shall be selected and funds shall be allocated at the discretion of the commissioner of elementary and secondary education.
(4) State level program support. These activities shall be supported by an annual appropriation. Funds shall be allocated at the discretion of the commissioner of elementary and secondary education.
(b) Commissioner's report.
The commissioner shall report to the governor and general assembly regarding the implementation of the literacy and dropout prevention programs and the need to continue the set-aside provision contained in this section.
(P.L. 1987, ch. 582, § 1; P.L. 1988, ch. 336, § 3; P.L. 1991, ch. 44, art. 50, § 1; P.L. 1992, ch. 133, art. 112, § 1; P.L. 2001, ch. 86, § 58.)