Should Students Serve on RI Board of Education?

Mar 25, 2013

The House Committee on Health, Education and Welfare will consider adding two students to the State Board of Education at a hearing scheduled for Wednesday.

The bill, sponsored by Providence Democrat Edith Ajello, proposes two additional seats on the board, one for a college student and one for a high school student. Both positions would be non-voting, but the students would have their opinions recorded in official minutes from any meeting.

Rhode Island's Board of Education oversees all schools from Kindergarten through higher education. Under this proposal, the university representative on the board would be appointed by the Governor, with the position rotating between each of the state’s three public colleges and universities.

The bill also calls for the creation of an elementary and secondary students’ advisory council, made up of one elected representative from each public high school in the state. The council would select one of its members to serve as a representative on the State Board of Education.