TITLE 16
Education

CHAPTER 16-2
School Committees and Superintendents [See Title 16 Chapter 97 – The Rhode Island Board of Education Act]

SECTION 16-2-21


§ 16-2-21 Pre-budget consultation – Annual reports – Appropriation requests – Budgets.

(a) At least sixty (60) days, but not more than ninety (90) days, prior to the formal submission of the school budget to the appropriate city or town officials by the school committee, there shall be a joint, pre-budget meeting between the school committee and the city or town council(s). At or before this meeting:

(1) The highest elected official of the city or town shall submit to the school committee an estimate, prepared in a manner approved by the department of administration, of projected revenues for the next fiscal year. In the case of the property tax, the projections shall include only changes in the property tax base, not property tax rates;

(2) The school committee shall submit to the city or town council a statement for the next ensuing fiscal year of anticipated total expenditures, projected enrollments with resultant staff and facility requirements, estimated enrollment and payments to charter schools, and any necessary or mandated changes in school programs or operations; and

(3) The school committee shall prepare and submit, annually, to the department of elementary and secondary education, on or before the first day of August, a report in the manner and form prescribed by the state board of regents for elementary and secondary education; the committee shall also prepare, not less than thirty (30) days before the date of the annual financial town meeting, or the date of the meeting of the city council at which annual appropriations are made, on forms prescribed and furnished by the department of elementary and secondary education, the estimates and recommendations of the amounts necessary to be appropriated for the support of public schools, including a distinct line item for estimated payments to charter schools for the fiscal year ensuing; provided, that a copy of these estimates and recommendations shall be sent to the department of elementary and secondary education, and until the report is made, and if the estimates and recommendations are not presented to the department, it may refuse to draw its orders for the money in the state treasury apportioned to the city or town; provided, that the necessary blank for the report has been furnished by the department on or before the first day of June, next preceding, and the necessary forms for the estimates and recommendations shall have been furnished by the department not less than sixty (60) days before the date of the annual appropriations meeting of the city council. The committee shall also prepare and submit annually to the department of elementary and secondary education and at the annual financial town meeting, a report to the city or town, setting forth its doings, the state, and condition of the schools, and plans for their improvement, which report, unless printed, shall be read in open meeting; and if printed, at least three (3) copies shall be transmitted to the department on or before the day of the annual financial town meeting in each year.

(b) If the amount appropriated by the town meeting, the city or town council, or budget referendum is either more or less than the amount recommended and requested by the school committee, the school committee shall, within thirty (30) days after the appropriation is made, amend its estimates and recommendations so that expenses are no greater than the total of all revenue appropriated by the state or town or provided for public schools under the care, control, and management of the school committee.

(c) Only a school budget in which total expenses are less than, or equal to, appropriations and revenues shall be considered an adopted school budget.

(d) Notwithstanding any provision of the general or public laws to the contrary:

(i) The budget adopted and presented by any school committee for the fiscal year 2008 shall not propose the appropriation of municipal funds (exclusive of state and federal aid) in excess of one hundred five and one-quarter percent (105.25%) of the total of municipal funds appropriated by the city or town council for school purposes for fiscal year 2007;

(ii) The budget adopted and presented by any school committee for the fiscal year 2009 shall not propose the appropriation of municipal funds (exclusive of state and federal aid) in excess of one hundred five percent (105%) of the total of municipal funds appropriated by the city or town council for school purposes for fiscal year 2008;

(iii) The budget adopted and presented by any school committee for the fiscal year 2010 shall not propose the appropriation of municipal funds (exclusive of state and federal aid) in excess of one hundred four and three-quarters percent (104.75%) of the total of municipal funds appropriated by the city or town council for school purposes for fiscal year 2009;

(iv) The budget adopted and presented by any school committee for the fiscal year 2011 shall not propose the appropriation of municipal funds (exclusive of state and federal aid) in excess of one hundred four and one-half percent (104.5%) of the total of municipal funds appropriated by the city or town council for school purposes for fiscal year 2010;

(v) The budget adopted and presented by any school committee for the fiscal year 2012 shall not propose the appropriation of municipal funds (exclusive of state and federal aid) in excess of one hundred four and one-quarter percent (104.25%) of the total of municipal funds appropriated by the city or town council for school purposes for fiscal year 2011; and

(vi) The budget adopted and presented by any school committee for the fiscal year 2013 and for each fiscal year thereafter shall not propose the appropriation of municipal funds (exclusive of state and federal aid) in excess of one hundred four percent (104%) of the total of municipal funds appropriated by the city or town council for school purposes for the previous fiscal year.

(e) Notwithstanding any provision of the general or public laws to the contrary, any judgment rendered pursuant to § 16-2-21.4(b) shall consider the percentage caps on school district budgets set forth in subsection (d) of this section.

History of Section.
(G.L. 1869, ch. 60, § 20; G.L. 1909, ch. 67, § 10; P.L. 1922, ch. 2234, § 12; G.L. 1923, ch. 70, § 23; G.L. 1938, ch. 178, § 23; impl. am. P.L. 1951, ch. 2752, § 21; G.L. 1956, § 16-2-21; P.L. 1980, ch. 152, § 2; P.L. 1985, ch. 182, §§ 12, 13; P.L. 1988, ch. 84, § 1; P.L. 2006, ch. 253, § 5; P.L. 2013, ch. 144, art. 13, § 2; P.L. 2014, ch. 489, § 1.)