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State of Rhode Island General Assembly
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Sen. Sheehan bill would require community representation on charter school boards
STATE HOUSE — Sen. James C. Sheehan (D-Dist. 36, Narragansett, North Kingstown) is sponsoring legislation that would require taxpayer representation from the community on the state’s charter school boards.
The bill (
) would require that charter public schools include on their board of governors or trustees, one member from the host community to be appointed by the host community’s school committee. If no board exists, one would have to be established by the school to ensure public representation.
“Charter schools were designed to more independently experiment to find creative approaches or ideas to improve education for our young people,” said Senator Sheehan. “It is an innovative approach to education, and these new approaches or ideas would be shared with the public schools. However, this independence should not come at the expense of full public input, insight or accountability.”
Similarly, the commonwealth of Massachusetts has adopted guidelines on the composition, conduct, and transparency of charter school boards, also requiring that the boards be held accountable for their fiduciary duties as trustees of public funds.
“The best way to ensure taxpayer input and public accountability is by having representation appointed by elected officials or their designees on the governance boards of charter schools to approve and monitor the expenditure of public funds as is required in other public schools,” said Senator Sheehan.
For more information, contact:
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903
Lt. Governor's Office
Secretary of State
Link to Public Records Request