§ 16-97-1 Rhode Island board of education established. (a) Effective January 1, 2013, there is created a board of education which shall be and is constituted a public corporation, empowered to sue and be sued in its own name, to have a corporate seal, and to be vested with all the powers and duties currently vested in the board of governors for higher education established in chapter 16-59 and the board of regents for elementary and secondary education established in chapter 16-60.
(b) Upon its organization, the board of education shall be vested with the legal title (in trust for the state) to all property, real and personal, now owned by and/or under the control or in the custody of the board of governors for higher education and the board of regents for elementary and secondary education, for the use of the board of education. The board of education is hereby-designated successor to all powers, rights, duties, and privileges pertaining to the board of regents for elementary and secondary education and the board of governors for higher education.
(c) The board of education shall consist of eleven (11) public members appointed by the governor with the advice and consent of the senate. Four (4) of the members initially appointed pursuant to this section shall serve terms of three (3) years; four (4) members initially appointed pursuant to this section shall serve terms of two (2) years; and, three (3) members initially appointed pursuant to this section shall serve terms of one year. Thereafter, all members appointed pursuant to this section shall serve terms of three (3) years. No board member shall be appointed to serve more than two (2) three (3) year terms.
(d) The governor shall select from the appointed members a chairperson and vice chairperson. A quorum shall consist of six (6) members of the board. A majority vote of those present shall be required for action.
(e) The statutory responsibilities of the department of
elementary and secondary education, the commissioner of elementary and
secondary education, and the commissioner of higher education shall remain
unchanged. No later than July 1, 2013, the board of education shall submit to
the governor and the general assembly its final plan for the permanent
administrative structure for higher education. As a requisite element of the
administrative structure for higher education, the board of education shall
establish a plan for distributing the assets, responsibilities, powers,
authorities, and duties of the office of higher education to the three (3)
higher education institutions and appropriate state agencies. Said distribution
shall be done in a manner designed to maximize efficiency, provide greater
articulation of the respective responsibilities of elementary and secondary and
higher education, and ensure that students are prepared to succeed in school,
college, careers, and life. The permanent governance structure for higher
education shall, at a minimum: (1) Provide clear guidance on statutory, legal,
financial and contractual obligations; (2) Establish a policy framework that
furthers the goals of this chapter; and (3) Establish appropriate
administrative structures, support, policies and procedures. Effective July 1,
2014, the office of higher education shall be abolished.
(P.L. 2012, ch. 241, art. 4, § 3.)