K-12 Governance Structures: State Profile

K-12 Governance Structures: State Profile - Rhode Island

November 2017


Data are collected using publicly available state constitutional language and state statutes. Updated as of Nov. 1, 2017.
 

Governor
What constitutional or statutory duties does the governor have as it relates to education? The chief executive power of the state shall be vested in a governor.

The governor shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed.

Every bill, resolution, or vote which shall have passed both houses of the general assembly shall be presented to the governor. If the governor approves, he shall sign it, if he does not, he shall return it to the house in which it originated.
What is the appointment authority provided to the governor in education? The governor appoints the members of the state board of education with the advice and consent of the senate.
Are the governor’s duties and powers and found in the state constitution? No
Are the governor’s duties and powers and found in the state statute? Yes
Citation Const. Art. 9, § 1
Const. Art. 9, § 2
Const. Art. 9, § 14
RI Gen.Laws 1956, § 16-97-1
Legislature
What constitutional or statutory powers does the legislature have as it relates to education policy? The general assembly shall pass all laws to carry the state constitution into effect.

The legislative power shall be vested in a house of representatives and a senate.

It shall be the duty of the general assembly to promote public schools and public libraries, and to adopt all means which it may deem necessary and proper to secure to the people the advantages and opportunities of education and public library services.
What is the appointment or confirmation authority of the legislature in education? The senate provides advice and consent for the governor's appointments to the state board of education.
Which committees in the legislature have jurisdiction over education issues? House:
Health, Education, and Welfare

Senate:
Education

Joint:
Establish a Permanent Education Foundation Aid Formula for Rhode Island
Constitutional? Yes
Statutory? Yes
Citations Const. Art. 6, § 1
Const. Art. 6, § 2
Const. Art. 12, § 1
RI Gen.Laws 1956, § 16-97-1
Chief State School Officer
What are the duties of the chief state officer? It shall be the duty of the commissioner of the education to:

-Carry out policies formulated by the state board of education.

-To evaluate the certification and licensure credentials of school personnel.

-Certify approval of accredited schools.

-Recommend courses of study to the board.

-Verify school buildings align with state law.

-Certify bus routes and schedules.

-Require observance of all laws relating to schools and education.

-Prepare financial records procedures for local officials.

-Implement board policy.
What constitutional or statutory authority does the chief state school officer have as it relates to education policy? The commissioner of education has the authority to:

-Create a master plan for elementary and secondary education in the state.

-Coordinate various elementary and secondary education functions across state agencies.

-Assist in the preparation of the elementary and secondary state budget.

-Be responsible for the administration of policies, rules and regulations.
 
How is the chief state school officer selected? The commissioner of education is appointed by the Council of Elementary and Secondary Education with the advice and consent of the state board of education.
Constitutional? No
Statutory? Yes
Citation Gen.Laws 1956, § 16-1-5
Gen.Laws 1956, § 16-60-6
State Board of Education
What constitutional or statutory powers and duties does the state board of education have as it relates to education policy? The state board of education is a P-20 governance board consisting of the Council of Elementary and Secondary Education and the Council of Higher Education.

The state board of education shall:

-Develop and adopt a strategic plan outlining the broad goals and objectives of education in the state.

-Prepare and maintain a five-year funding plan for all levels of education in the state.

-Develop policies and maximize collaborative potential between elementary, secondary, and higher education.

-Approve the appointment of the commissioner of elementary and secondary education.

-Approve the appointment of the commissioner of postsecondary education.
What is the composition of the state board of education? The state board of education consists of 17 members. Eight are from the Council of Elementary and Secondary Education and eight are from the Council of Higher Education. There is one additional member who is the nonvoting chairperson of both councils.
How are members of the state board of education selected? The governor appoints the members of both councils and the chairperson with the advice and consent of the senate.
Constitutional? No
Statutory? Yes
Citation RI Gen.Laws 1956, § 16-97-1.2
RI Gen.Laws 1956, § 16-97-1
RI Gen.Laws 1956, § 16-60-2
RI Gen.Laws 1956, § 16-59-2
Executive-Level Secretary
Does the state have an executive-level secretary? The Council of Elementary and Secondary Education that is part of the state board of education, provides general supervision over elementary and secondary education issues.
What other duties does the executive-level secretary have? Elementary and secondary education duties include adopting standards, developing a master plan, developing a budget, maintenance of the department of education, and the development of a uniform statewide reporting system, among others.
Constitutional? No
Statutory? Yes
Citation RI Gen.Laws 1956, § 16-60-4

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