Title 16

Chapter 1
State Department of Elementary and Secondary Education [See Title 16 Chapter 97 — The Rhode Island Board of Education Act]

R.I. Gen. Laws § 16-1-5

§ 16-1-5. Duties of commissioner of elementary and secondary education.

It shall be the duty of the commissioner of elementary and secondary education:

(1) To carry out the policies and program formulated by the council on elementary and secondary education.

(2) To evaluate credentials of applicants for certificates, to verify that the certification of teachers is in accordance with law and established standards, and to issue certificates at the direction of the board.

(3) To certify the approval of accredited schools.

(4) To recommend to the board an outline of the subjects and courses of study and the instructional standards for elementary and secondary schools.

(5) To approve the distribution of state school funds in accordance with law and the regulations of the board.

(6) To verify that school sites and school building plans are in accordance with law and regulations.

(7) To exercise supervision over school libraries and library services.

(8) To certify that school bus routes and schedules and all contracts for pupil transportation conform with provisions of law and the rules and regulations of the board.

(9) To require the observance of all laws relating to schools and education.

(10) To interpret school law and to decide such controversies as may be appealed to the commissioner from decisions of local school committees.

(11) To prepare and recommend standard forms for the use of local schools.

(12)(i) To prepare, with the assistance of the department of administration, manuals of uniform budgetary and standard financial records and procedures for local school officers. The board of regents shall adopt uniform local school budgeting procedures no later than July 1, 1989, and those procedures should include, at a minimum, the following:

(A) Provision for uniform classification of revenues and expenditures;

(B) Requirements of detailed expenditure estimates and a table of organization including the proposed staffing of each school;

(C) Estimates of receipts and expenditures for the last two (2) completed fiscal years, the current and ensuing fiscal years; and

(ii) To carry out the purpose of this subsection a sum of ten thousand dollars ($10,000) not otherwise appropriated shall be included in the appropriation made to support the department of elementary and secondary education.

(13) To receive general supervision from the council on elementary and secondary education and to appoint the several officers and employees of the department subject to the provisions of the state merit system act, chapters 3 and 4 of title 36.

(14) To establish health education, alcohol and substance abuse programs for students in grades kindergarten (K) through twelve (12), in accordance with § 35-4-18. The program will consist of the following: A mandated state health education, alcohol and substance abuse curriculum for grades kindergarten (K) through twelve (12), a mandated assessment program in the areas of health, fitness, alcohol and substance abuse, and an in-service training program that will be developed specifically for the implementation of the mandated curriculum.

(15)(i) To appoint a three-member (3) committee for the purpose of choosing a “teacher of the year” among teachers in public school grades kindergarten (K) through twelve (12). The “teacher of the year” shall receive an award of one thousand dollars ($1,000).

(ii) It is the intent of the general assembly that the funds necessary to carry out the provisions of this subdivision shall be provided within the annual appropriations act.

(16) To institute a process to review, revise, and adopt statewide academic standards that align with state assessments for the core subjects of mathematics, English language arts, science and technology, history and social studies, world languages, and the arts.

(17) To institute a process for adapting, adopting, and developing curriculum frameworks for mathematics, English language arts, science and technology, history and social studies, world languages, and the arts covered by the academic standards.

(18) To institute a process for reviewing and identifying high-quality curriculum and materials in mathematics, English language arts, and science and technology.

(19) To prepare each year a plan for providing statewide assistance in the preparation and implementation of professional development plans.

History of Section.
P.L. 1951, ch. 2752, § 10; impl. am. P.L. 1952, ch. 2975, § 2; G.L. 1956, § 16-1-5; P.L. 1986, ch. 412, § 3, P.L. 1988, ch. 394, § 1; P.L. 1988, ch. 336, § 7; P.L. 1993, ch. 188, § 1; P.L. 1996, ch. 404, § 11; P.L. 2004, ch. 186, § 1; P.L. 2004, ch. 243, § 1; P.L. 2019, ch. 224, § 1; P.L. 2019, ch. 259, § 1.