Delaying implementation of education board proposed
State Sen. Hanna M. Gallo (DCranston) recently announced that she will prefile legislation to give the Senate more time to conduct a proper advice and consent process by postponing implementation of the new Board of Education, which is currently scheduled to take effect Jan. 1.
The legislation would maintain the existence of the Board of Governors for Higher Education and the Board of Regents until the new board goes into effect. Under the provisions in Gallo’s proposal, the new board would be seated Feb. 7. Sen. President Teresa Paiva Weed is expected to co-sponsor the bill.
An important part of the reason for the delay in implementation, said Gallo, is the need for the Senate education committee to conduct its due diligence on appointments to the new 11-member education board.
“The Senate has an obligation to fully and properly vet the governor’s appointments to the new Board of Education, and that simply is not possible given the time constraints before the new board is set to go into effect on Jan. 1,” said Gallo.
Gov. Lincoln Chafee announced his intention to appoint George D. Caruolo to chair the new board. Caruolo is the current chairman of the Board of Regents. No other appointments have been made.
The new Board of Education was established through the 2013 budget enacted in June to enhance coordination between higher and lower education in order to close skills gaps and make high school and college graduates more competitive and marketable. Gallo’s bill would also delay current statutory reporting deadlines for the new board.