Policy Map

Rhode Island

School Choice Policy

Charter School Choice

Do state statutes allow for charter schools?

Are for-profit charters allowed?

Unclear:

The State's Board of Regents shall not approve a charter to a school whose overall operation or education program is managed by a for profit entity.

Rhode Island General Laws 16-77-3.1(d) Legislative Purpose

Is there a cap on the number of charter schools?

Yes:

No more than 35 charters can be granted in total, and at least one-half of the total number of charter public schools must be reserved for charter school applications that are designed to increase educational opportunities for at-risk pupils.

Rhode Island General Laws 16-77-3.1

Are charters required to provide transportation for any students?

No:

However, a district charter school can negotiate transportation services with the school district in which the district charter school is located

Rhode Island General Laws 16-77.2-5 (c)

Can charter schools employ uncertified teachers?

No:

Teachers and administrators in district charter schools, independent charter schools, and mayoral academies must be certified pursuant to state law and regulation.

Rhode Island General Laws 16-77.2-2(a:12), 16-77.3-2(a:12), 16-77.4-2(a:12)

Virtual School Choice

Do state statutes allow for full-time virtual schools?

Did not find:

We did not find statutes regarding full-time virtual schools. However, school districts and charter schools can access virtual course programs for students. In partnership with the commissioner of higher education, the commissioner of elementary and secondary education shall promote access to high quality virtual courses for all public elementary, secondary, and postsecondary students.

Rhode Island General Laws 16-22.1-7 Cooperation with public institutions of higher education

Are virtual schools required to track attendance?

Did not find

Do virtual schools have to comply with state teacher certification requirements?

Did not find

Private School Choice

Do state statutes allow for voucher programs?

No:

No voucher programs found.

EdChoice School Choice in America

Do state statutes allow for educational expense tax credits or deductions?

No:

No educational expense tax credits or deductions found.

EdChoice School Choice in America

Can students use vouchers to attend religious schools?

Not Applicable

Is there a cap on the number of students or private schools participating in voucher programs?

Not Applicable

Are voucher students in private schools required to take any standardized tests?

Not Applicable

Can private schools be removed from voucher programs based on performance?

Not Applicable

Are private schools in voucher programs required to provide transportation?

Not Applicable

Interdistrict School Choice

Do state statutes allow for interdistrict choice?

Yes:

"Whenever the school committee of any city or town shall find that it is more convenient or expedient for any child residing in the city or town to attend school in an adjoining city or town, the committee may arrange with the school authorities of the city or town for the attendance of the child at their schools, and may pay for the tuition out of the city or town appropriation for public schools. The amount paid shall be used for school purposes only."

Rhode Island General Laws 16-2-19 Children attending in adjoining cities or towns

Are receiving schools or districts required to provide transportation to any students?

Unclear:

"This chapter shall be construed and applied to:... (7) Provide for the transportation of public school students who attend schools located outside of the city or town in which they reside, to protect the health, safety, and welfare of pupils who live at such distances from the schools which they attend as to make it impractical or hazardous to require the pupil to walk to school."

Rhode Island General Laws 16-21.1-1(7) Transportation of School Pupils Beyond City and Town Limits

Page last updated: January 2020

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