2002 No Action
2001 No Action
2000 No Action
1998 No Action
1995 No Action
TO THE HONORABLE, THE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES:
In accordance with the provisions of Rhode Island General Laws § 43-1-4, I am transmitting herewith, with my disapproval, 2001-H-6104 Substitute A, "An Act Relating to Education - School Committees and Superintendents."
This bill would establish a board of trustees for purposes of governing the Central Falls School District. The board of trustees would replace the special state administrator for the Central Falls School District and the Central Falls School District Advisory Group. The bill also provides the superintendent and members of the board with the power to negotiate all employment contracts.
I applaud the efforts of the sponsors and the interested parties who proposed this legislation to balance the roles of the state and the community in the governance of the school system. Clearly, all parties are dedicated to the success of the Central Falls schools, and I endorse restructuring the governance to give the community a greater role.
The Central Falls school district is supported 100% by state appropriation with no local contribution. A provision in this bill would allow the superintendent, the chairman of the board of trustees, and his/her appointed designee to negotiate all district employment contracts. Typically, employment contracts constitute a vast percentage of the overall school budget. The resulting situation would be a board that negotiates contracts on terms it deems appropriate for the local district with the state paying 100% of the tab with no requirement of prior state approval of its terms. This structure does not work.
I would encourage all parties to continue to work on this issue in the next legislative session. I would withdraw my objection to the bill if employment contracts negotiated by the superintendent and other board members required the approval of the commissioner of elementary and secondary education with the concurrence of the Board of Regents. In that way, the State would have final say on how much state money should be contractually committed.
For the foregoing reasons, I disapprove of this legislation and respectfully urge your support of this veto.