Charter School Choice
Does the state have charter schools?
Rhode Island has three types of charter schools:
- District charter schools: "schools created by existing public schools, groups of public school personnel, public school districts, or a group of school districts."
- Independent charter schools: "schools created by: (I) Rhode Island nonprofit organizations provided that these nonprofit organizations shall have existed for at least two (2) years and must exist for a substantial reason other than to operate a school; or (ii) Colleges or universities within the State of Rhode Island."
- Mayoral academies: "schools created by a mayor of any city or town within the State of Rhode Island, acting by or through a nonprofit organization (regardless of the time said nonprofit organization is in existence) to establish a mayoral academy..."
Are for-profit charter schools or management companies allowed?
"The board of regents shall not approve a charter to a school whose overall operation or education program is managed by a for profit entity."
Is there a cap on the number of charter schools?
"No more than thirty-five (35) charters shall be granted. At least one-half (1/2) of the total number of charter public schools in the state shall be reserved for charter school applications which are designed to increase the educational opportunities for at-risk pupils."
Are charters required to provide transportation for any students?
We did not find information about charter school transportation requirements in Rhode Island statutes. A Rhode Island policy expert stated that charters may have limited obligations to provide transportation.
Can charter schools employ uncertified teachers?
Teachers and administrators in district charter schools, independent charter schools, and mayoral academies must be certified pursuant to state law and regulation.
Virtual School Choice
Do state statutes allow for full-time virtual schools?
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."
Are virtual schools required to track attendance?
Do virtual schools have to comply with state teacher certification requirements?
Private School Choice
Does the state have voucher programs?
No voucher programs found.
Does the state have educational expense tuition tax credits or deductions?
No educational expense tax credits or deductions found.
Can students use vouchers to attend religious schools?
Is there a cap on the number of students or private schools participating in voucher programs?
Are voucher students in private schools required to take any standardized tests?
Can private schools be removed from voucher programs based on performance?
Are private schools in voucher programs required to provide transportation?
Interdistrict School Choice
Does the state have interdistrict choice programs?
"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."
Are receiving schools or districts required to provide transportation to any students?
"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."