§ 16-7.1-1. Legislative findings.
(a) Legislative intent. (1) The intent of this legislation is to enact a comprehensive state education aid funding program which addresses four (4) fundamental principles:
(i) Closing the inequitable resource gaps among school districts and schools;
(ii) Closing inequitable gaps in performance and achievement among different groups of students, especially those correlated with poverty, gender, and language background;
(iii) Targeting investments to improve student and school performance; and
(iv) Establishing a predictable method of distributing state education aid in a manner that addresses the over-reliance on the property tax to finance education.
(2) This legislation is further designed to accelerate the implementation of the State Comprehensive Education Strategy. The strategy is an action plan for ensuring that all children achieve at high levels and become lifelong learners, productive workers, and responsible citizens. The standard for expected student achievement is currently being set at a high level both by the board of regents and in Rhode Island's districts and schools. High standards must be supported and these expectations must now be reached by all our students. All the state's children must enjoy the success that comes with proficiency in skill and knowledge.
(b) Evaluation of success.
Improved student and school performance is the key measure of the success of Rhode Island's schools. This success cannot occur without investment based on the four (4) fundamental principles as stated in subsection (a) of this section. The success of these investments shall be evaluated based on: accountability for student and school performance; accountability in terms of whether the state's investment is sufficiently adequate and equitable to support improvement in performance; and on accountability for district and school expenditures.
(P.L. 1997, ch. 30, art. 31, § 1; P.L. 1998, ch. 31, art. 31, § 1.)