RI schools would be able to scrap 180-day mandate - News, Weather and Classifieds for Southern New England

RI schools would be able to scrap 180-day mandate

Posted: Updated:
PROVIDENCE -

The Rhode Island Senate has passed a bill to allow school districts more flexibility to scrap the state's mandate of 180 school days.

The bill would allow for fewer school days, but students would still spend the same amount of time in the classroom.

"We want to make sure there's still quality education for our students here and that all the requirements are being met," state Sen. Roger Picard said. "We don't want to change that, maybe just the delivery system."

It's why Picard, a Democrat, helped pass a bill to do away with Rhode Island's 180 school day requirement. He knows a thing or two about education as a special education services coordinator for the Woonsocket school district.

"Some of the students I deal with, they just don't do well in a traditional educational setting," Picard said.

He's hoping the bill will allow schools flexibility so teaching methods reflect the needs of students, who would still be required to have at least 1,080 hours of instruction.

Picard said he thinks the bill has the potential to save schools money on utilities and busing expenses if school was held four days a week instead of five. Other states, including Montana, Georgia and Colorado, saw some success.

State education commissioner Deborah Gist said she's in favor of the proposal.

"We're supportive of the concept," Gist said. "I feel really pleased that the bill says that they need to have approval for their design."

As for the negatives, Picard said he thinks they're mostly logistical.

"Union issues, obviously, staffing issues, busing issues," Picard said. "People who are accustomed to a certain educational year."

Picard said he hopes the legislation is a step closer to building more flexible, sustainable schools.

The bill was referred to the House Committee on Health, Education and Welfare.

  • Local PoliticsMore>>

  • Obama arrives in RI, heads to Newport fundraiser

    Obama arrives in RI, heads to Newport fundraiser

    Friday, August 29 2014 7:19 PM EDT2014-08-29 23:19:51 GMT
    President Barack Obama meets with Gov. Lincoln Chafee and U.S. Sen. Jack Reed at T.F. Green Airport in Warwick.President Barack Obama meets with Gov. Lincoln Chafee and U.S. Sen. Jack Reed at T.F. Green Airport in Warwick.
    President Barack Obama is on a fundraising blitz and Newport is one of his stops.
    President Barack Obama is on a fundraising blitz and Newport is one of his stops.
  • Lt. Governor candidates say priority is putting RI back to work

    Lt. Governor candidates say priority is putting RI back to work

    Friday, August 29 2014 4:01 PM EDT2014-08-29 20:01:33 GMT
    NBC 10's Bill Rappleye (left) speaks with Secretary of State Ralph Mollis, Cumberland Mayor Dan McKee and state Rep. Frank Ferri during a taping of "10 News Conference".NBC 10's Bill Rappleye (left) speaks with Secretary of State Ralph Mollis, Cumberland Mayor Dan McKee and state Rep. Frank Ferri during a taping of "10 News Conference".
    All of the candidates, Secretary of State Ralph Mollis, Cumberland Mayor Dan Mckee, and state Rep. Frank Ferri, say closing the skills gap and putting people back to work would be their first priorities.
    All of the candidates, Secretary of State Ralph Mollis, Cumberland Mayor Dan Mckee, and state Rep. Frank Ferri, say closing the skills gap and putting people back to work would be their first priorities.
  • Year ends with $68M surplus; most already used

    Year ends with $68M surplus; most already used

    The state of Rhode Island ended the last fiscal year with a $68 million surplus, though $59 has already been used to close a hole in the General Assembly's current year spending plan.
    The state of Rhode Island ended the last fiscal year with a $68 million surplus, though $59 has already been used to close a hole in the General Assembly's current year spending plan.
Powered by WorldNow

23 Kenney Drive
Cranston, R.I., 02920

Telephone: 401.455.9100
Fax: 401.455.9140
Email: news@wjar.com

Can't find something?

NBC 10 Outerwear Provided by:

NBC 10 Media Relations
Provided by:

Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.