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Rhode Island School Superintendents' Association
  Legislative Update 2015

Legislative Report

March 9, 2015

Charter Schools

We support most all of the charter school bills that are proposed. They address nearly all the concerns we have addressed.

Senate Bill No. 87

BY  Satchell, Lombardi, Gallo, Miller, Pearson

House Bill No. 5160

BY  Serpa, O`Grady, Casey, Phillips, Melo

ENTITLED, AN ACT RELATING TO EDUCATION - MAYORAL ACADEMIES (Provides that a mayoral academy charter school's application would not be approved by the board of education unless the school committee and the city or town council of each included municipality also supported the application.)

Local elected bodies would have to sign off on new charter proposals. After all, they pay the bills.

Senate Bill No. 202

BY  Gallo, Ruggerio, Goodwin, Lynch

ENTITLED, AN ACT RELATING TO EDUCATION -- FUNDING OF CHARTER PUBLIC SCHOOLS (Changes the method in determining the local share of the per pupil amount for each student attending the charter public school and local district payments to charter public schools would be made at the end of school quarter.)

This is essentially our bill from last year. The good news is that the leadership is now sponsoring it.

Below are details from the bill:

 the per pupil cost for the district of residence of the student minus the state share of that per pupil cost as designated in this section and minus allocations not born by the charter school based on uniform chart of  accounts data such as out of district special education and district costs required by the basic education plan. 19

quarterly as designated in subsection (d); the first 26 local district payment shall be made by August 15 instead of July at the end of the district's 27 school quarter for those students actually enrolled in the charter school during the quarter.

Senate Bill No. 314

BY  Doyle, DiPalma, Nesselbush

ENTITLED, AN ACT RELATING TO EDUCATION -- FUNDING OF CHARTER PUBLIC SCHOOLS (Amends the provisions by which charter public schools apply for state aid for reimbursement of school housing costs and further amends the calculation method of housing costs under this section.)

 housing costs reimbursed with state aid shall be equal to 13 the percentage of school housing costs reimbursed with state aid for the municipality where the 14 charter public school is located.

We’re opposed to this bill which could reimburse charters at a much higher rate

House Bill No. 5204

BY  Fellela, Carnevale, Messier, Johnston, Hull

ENTITLED, AN ACT RELATING TO EDUCATION - MAYORAL ACADEMIES (Changes mayoral academy teachers' and administrators' participation in the state retirement system from voluntary to mandatory.)

House Bill No. 5555

BY  O`Grady, Amore, Fogarty, Regunberg, O'Brien

ENTITLED, AN ACT RELATING TO EDUCATION - CHARTER SCHOOLS (Requires the board of education to make certain findings provided, if  the board is asked to approve an application for a new mayoral academy or the expansion of seats  in an existing mayoral academy, the board shall, prior to granting any such approval, make an affirmative finding that the proposed school or the proposed expansion shall not have a detrimental effect on the finances and/or the academic performance of the sending districts  affected by the new school or the expansion. The board of regents may grant a charter regarding the sending districts before granting approval to a new charter school project.

This recognizes the potential negative impact that new charters have on sending districts. It would have headed off the Woonsocket proposal.

House Bill No. 5688

BY  Tanzi, Naughton, Bennett, Lally, Regunberg

ENTITLED, AN ACT RELATING TO EDUCATION -- MAYORAL ACADEMIES (Requires mayoral academies to use a random selection process to select eligible public school students who would be invited to attend the mayoral academy.)


House Bill No. 5794

BY  Barros, Johnston, Coughlin, Almeida, Blazejewski

ENTITLED, AN ACT RELATING TO EDUCATION -- MUNICIPAL FUNDING OF CHARTER SCHOOLS (Removes a city or town's financial obligation to contribute to their resident students who enroll in charter schools, William M. Davies, Jr. Career and Technical High School or the Metropolitan Regional Career and Technical Center.)

This bill takes off the automatic payment to career and tech centers in addition to charters.

Other Bills

Senate Resolution No. 7

BY  Picard, Pearson

ENTITLED, JOINT RESOLUTION TO APPROVE AND PUBLISH AND SUBMIT TO THE ELECTORS A PROPOSITION OF AMENDMENT TO THE CONSTITUTION -- RIGHT TO AN ADEQUATE EDUCATION (This amendment to the state constitution would provide the paramount duty of the general assembly, department of education and other governmental agencies to provide Rhode Island residents equal opportunities to receive adequate high levels of education.)

House Bill No. 5393

BY  McLaughlin, Amore, Marcello, Lombardi, Messier

ENTITLED, AN ACT RELATING TO EDUCATION - FOUNDATION LEVEL SCHOOL SUPPORT (Eliminates the moratorium on new school building projects effective upon passage of the act or May 1, 2015, whichever were to occur first.)

We support lifting the moratorium.

House Bill No. 5068

BY  Fellela, Gallison, Mattiello, Casey, McNamara

ENTITLED, AN ACT RELATING TO CRIMINAL OFFENSES - COMPUTER CRIME (Prohibits computer, phone or like device to make threats endangering students at a daycare facility, school or university in RI and upon conviction would be a felony with fines &/or imprisonment and restitution to the state, municipality &/or school.)

House Bill No. 5385

(by request)

BY  Keable, O'Brien, Amore

ENTITLED, AN ACT RELATING TO EDUCATION -- RHODE ISLAND EDUCATIONAL RECORDS BILL OF RIGHTS (Ensures parental access to information, materials or results to state assessments of students, including instructions, answer sheets and assessments. It prevents the collection of personally identifiable and personal data.)

BY  Kazarian, Messier, Amore, Bennett, O'Brien

ENTITLED, AN ACT RELATING TO EDUCATION - STAFFING (Requires all public schools in grades kindergarten through twelve (12), to have at least one full-time certified school social worker for every four hundred (400) students.)

House Bill No. 5790

BY  Hull, Chippendale, Malik, Azzinaro, Corvese


Establishes a new educational program that would allow students to enroll public and private schools of their choice.

We are opposed this bill which is a voucher plan and could be used for religious schools.

BY  Miller, Goldin

ENTITLED, AN ACT RELATING TO EDUCATION - IMMUNIZATIONS (Removes the religious beliefs exemption from the requirement that all pupils in a public or private school in this state be immunized and/or tested for communicable diseases.)

Senate Bill No. 460

BY  Satchell, Metts, Picard, Pichardo, Conley

ENTITLED, AN ACT RELATING TO EDUCATION -- HEALTH AND SAFETY OF PUPILS (Mandates each school district to adopt a written policy that addresses the use of Internet filtering measures for computer access in schools.)

Senate Bill No. 493

BY  Ruggerio, Goodwin, Paiva Weed, Algiere, Miller

House Bill No. 5163

BY  Malik, Corvese, Winfield, Hull, Bennett

ENTITLED, AN ACT RELATING TO EDUCATION -- HEALTH AND SAFETY OF PUPILS (Mandates that all high schools and middle schools and all athletic fields or other locations where high school or middle schools compete in sporting events, have a functional Automated External Defibrillator (AED) on site at all times.)

Senate Bill No. 201

BY  DiPalma, Lombardi, O`Neill, Morgan, Pearson

ENTITLED, AN ACT RELATING TO EDUCATION -- TEACHERS' TENURE -- HEARINGS (Provides that teacher dismissal cases may be heard by less than an entire school board.)

This is our bill.

House Bill No. 5475

BY  Carnevale, McKiernan, O'Brien, Serpa, Amore

ENTITLED, AN ACT RELATING TO LABOR AND LABOR RELATIONS -- ARBITRATION -- CONTINUANCE OF CONTRACTUAL PROVISIONS (Requires that the contractual provisions contained in a collective bargaining agreement with certified school teachers and municipal employees would continue until a successor agreement has been reached between the parties.)

I provided testimony against this contract continuation bill.

Senate Bill No. 304

BY  DaPonte, Conley, Coyne

ENTITLED, AN ACT RELATING TO EDUCATION -- CHILDREN WITH DISABILITIES (Provides that for any child attending the East Providence Campus of Bradley Hospital, the child's residence district would be responsible for reimbursement to the school department of East Providence for any monies paid to Bradley Hospital.)

I testified against this bill last year. It would send us back to era when districts chased each other for group home payments.

Senate Bill No. 104

BY  Picard, Cote

ENTITLED, AN ACT RELATING TO TOWNS AND CITIES - BUDGET COMMISSIONS (Prohibits a budget commission from selecting hiring and/or firing specific city, town, educational, police and/or fire district employees.)

Senate Bill No. 458

BY  Picard

ENTITLED, AN ACT RELATING TO TOWNS AND CITIES -- BUDGET COMMISSIONS (Requires selection of one member of the commission by RIDE whenever school systems are involved and creates exemptions for removal of superintendent and certain educational decisions.)

These bills are based on our request, but also include municipal workers.

House Bill No. 5275

BY  Ucci, Fellela, Costantino, Carnevale

ENTITLED, AN ACT RELATING TO EDUCATION -- FOUNDATION LEVEL SCHOOL SUPPORT (Provides that funding for kindergartens that have been converted from part-time to full-time beginning with the 2015-2016 school year would be fully funded beginning in fiscal year 2016.)


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