Hearings on the bill that would repeal the “Caruolo Act” are scheduled begin Tuesday at the State House.
The “Caruolo Act,” enacted in 1995, allows local school committees to sue their towns for more funding.
Representative Patricia Morgan (R Coventry, Warwick, West Warwick) who introduced the bill speaks from experience when describing what she sees as the act’s potentially negative effects.
“I know in my own town the school committee went to court—three times I believe it is—against our town in order to get more money. It cost an enormous amount of money in legal fees, and in the end they really didn’t get that much from the action. Who it hurt were the kids and the taxpayers.”
Morgan adds that a repeal of the act would force committees and town councils to work together
“When the school committee is putting its budget together they do it in the vacuum of only looking at their little piece of the pie. Unfortunately—for town councils—they’re responsible for the whole pie. What my bill does is it really forces the town council and the school committee to kind of sit down together and understand all the dynamics of the budget”.
Opponents of the bill fear the involvement of town councils in matters of school budgeting.
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