§ 16-97-1. Rhode Island board of education established.
(a) Effective January 1, 2013, there is created a board of education that shall be responsible for and shall exercise the purposes, powers, and duties of, this chapter and chapters 59 and 60 of this title. The board is responsible for the coordination of education from pre-k through higher education and shall set goals and policies for the effective coordination of these public education systems.
(b) The board of education shall consist of seventeen (17) public members appointed by the governor with the advice and consent of the senate, eight (8) of whom shall be designated to serve on the council for elementary and secondary education and eight (8) of whom shall be designated to serve on the council for postsecondary education. The chairperson of the board shall serve as a member of both councils. Six (6) of the members initially appointed pursuant to this section shall serve terms of three (3) years; six (6) members initially appointed pursuant to this section shall serve terms of two (2) years; and, four (4) members initially appointed pursuant to this section shall serve terms of one year. To the greatest extent possible, the initial staggered terms shall be equitably divided among the councils so as to protect against sudden changes in membership and reversal of policy. Thereafter, all members appointed pursuant to this section shall serve terms of three (3) years. At the expiration of their terms, members shall remain and continue in their official capacity until their successor is appointed and qualified. Members shall not be appointed to more than three (3), successive three-year (3) terms each; provided that the chair of the board shall have no term and shall serve at the pleasure of the governor. Any vacancy among the members of the board shall be filled by appointment of the governor for the remainder of the unexpired term. In the selection and appointment of the board, the governor shall seek persons who best serve the needs of the entire state. No person shall be eligible for appointment to the board after the effective date of this act unless a resident of this state. Members of the board shall not be compensated for their service in attending board or council meetings.
(c) The chair of the Governor's Workforce Board, or designee, and the chair of the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation, or designee, shall serve as non-voting, ex-officio members of the board.
(d) The governor shall select from the appointed members a chairperson and vice chairperson. A quorum shall consist of nine (9) members of the board. A majority vote of those present shall be required for action.
(e) Except as provided by subsection (b) of this section, members of the board shall be removable by the governor for cause only. Removal solely for partisan or personal reasons unrelated to performance, capacity, or fitness for the office shall be unlawful.
(f) The statutory responsibilities of the department of elementary and secondary education, the commissioner of elementary and secondary education, and the commissioner of postsecondary education shall remain unchanged.
(g) The chair of the board of education shall consult with the chairs of the council on elementary and secondary education, the council on postsecondary education, the commissioner of elementary and secondary education, and the commissioner of postsecondary education in developing agendas, goals, policies, and strategic plans for the board.
(P.L. 2012, ch. 241, art. 4, § 3; P.L. 2014, ch. 145, art. 20, § 8; P.L. 2014, ch. 369, § 1; P.L. 2014, ch. 381, § 1.)