§ 16-3.2-2. The empowerment school.
(a) The following entities may be designated as an empowerment school: a school in a public-school district, a school within a school in a public-school district, a career and technical education program within a public-school district, a state school.
(b) Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, all statute regulations, and collective bargaining agreement terms and conditions shall apply to empowerment schools.
(c) Notwithstanding §§ 16-2-9 and 16-2-11, the principal and professional staff of a empowerment school, acting in concert as a school leadership team, shall make decisions regarding the school's policies and practices, including, but not limited to, curriculum, instructional practices, policies and procedures, calendar and schedule, allocation of resources, staffing, and professional development, consistent with the district collective bargaining agreement and school-based amendments as defined in § 16-3.2-4(f). Leadership teams shall determine methods to document and communicate the latest decisions that emerge through the leadership team process. Noncertified staff, parents, students, and community members may also be members of the school leadership team at the school's discretion. The principal shall have final authority in all instructional, personnel, managerial, and operational matters, except for those matters expressly delegated to the school leadership team through the participatory leadership process, consistent with the district collective bargaining agreement and school-based amendments as defined in § 16-3.2-4(f).
(d) Students from the district in which the empowerment school is located shall be funded either pursuant to §§ 16-3.2-7 and 16-7.2-5 or, based on mutual, written agreement between the superintendent and the principal of the empowerment school, in accordance with an alternative agreement with the school district.
(e) Teachers and other staff who work in empowerment schools shall maintain their full status as members of their respective bargaining unit and as employees of the district and service in an empowerment school shall not be deemed to be an interruption of service in the school district for purposes of seniority and teachers' retirement.
(f) Although existing collective bargaining agreements shall apply to an empowerment school, empowerment schools shall be eligible to amend the existing districtwide collective bargaining agreement through an expedited and timely process, subject to approval of the superintendent, district union membership, and school committee. School-based amendments to the districtwide collective bargaining agreement shall be non-precedent setting for future district bargaining or contract administration. In all instances, final approval or non-approval by all parties of school-based amendments to the districtwide collective bargaining agreement shall be made within ninety (90) days of submission of such request.
(P.L. 2016, ch. 142, art. 11, § 7.)