Executive Order 99-11
November 4, 1999
WHEREAS, Rhode Island has a history of strong investment in its elementary and secondary schools; and
WHEREAS, according to national data (1997), Rhode Island's per pupil expenditures are among the highest in the country; and
WHEREAS, the State has increased funding for elementary and secondary education aid by over $130 million over the last five years at a race exceeding five percent annually; and
WHEREAS, for the current fiscal year, the State's total investment in elementary and secondary education will be $582.9 million, including construction aid and pension contributions; and
WHEREAS, in 1996, the Rhode Island Goals 2000 Panel issued a comprehensive education strategy report entitled, "All Kids, All Schools," which called for high Standards, student assessments/ accountability, and community support; and
WHEREAS, in 1997, the General Assembly enacted Article 31 of the FY 1998 Appropriations Act, which set forth a comprehensive education strategy of high standards,assessments, and state investments linked to student performance; and
WHEREAS, Article 31 also abandoned the prior education aid formula and distributed additional state aid on an annual basis; and
WHEREAS, urban schools face special challenges with growing school populations, poverty, increasing numbers of non-Engiish speaking students, and a stagnant property tax base; and
WHEREAS, there is increasing demand from urban and suburban school districts for additional resources for education.
NOW, THEREFORE, by virtue of the power vested in me as Governor of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, do hereby order as follows:
I. There is hereby created a Governor's Task Force on Elementary and Secondary Education Finance to study the current state of financing elementary and secondary education in Rhode Island, including educational expenditures, the sources of revenues for such expenditures, and the allocation of educational aid to each community.
This Executive Order shall take effect immediately and shall expire upon the submission of the Task Force's final report.