Town of Coventry, RI
Kent County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents

Section 4.01 Membership.

The School Committee shall have five (5) members, one to be elected from and by the electors of each of the five (5) districts of the town.
The members in office when this Charter shall take effect shall continue in office until their terms shall expire and their successors are elected and qualified.

Section 4.02 Election.

At the general election to be held in November 1974, and every fourth year thereafter, three (3) members shall be elected. The district shall be determined by the Board of Canvassers and Registration and at the general election to be held in November 1976, and every fourth year thereafter, two (2) members shall be elected from the remaining two (2) districts, each for a term of four (4) years.

Section 4.03 Filling vacancy.

[Amended 11-4-2008; effective 1-1-2009; 11-4-2014 by Ord. No. 03-15-301]
If a vacancy shall occur in the School Committee twelve (12) months or more prior to the next regular election, a special election shall be called by the Town Clerk in the manner prescribed by law to fill such vacancy. If, by the thirtieth day after the vacancy occurs the Town Clerk shall have failed to call such special election, then the Board of Canvassers and Registration shall call such election to fill such vacancy within forty-five (45) days of the date of occurrence of such vacancy. If such vacancy shall occur less than twelve (12) months prior to the next regular election. the vacancy shall be filled for the unexpired term by the Town Council. The vacancy shall be filled by a qualified elector from the same district. The vacancy shall be posted in at least three (3) forms of local media including the Town's website as well as notifying the local political parties in the town.

Section 4.04 Qualifications.

A member of the School Committee shall hold no other public office or employment in the service of the Town of Coventry, the State of Rhode Island, or of the government of the United States, except as provided in section 15.01(f).
A member of the School Committee shall not be eligible for appointment to any paid office in the town during the term for which the member was elected to the School Committee.

Section 4.05 Chairman and clerk.

The School Committee shall elect one of its members as chairman, who shall sign any orders or official papers of the committee, and shall elect a clerk who, under the direction of the committee, shall keep a journal of the proceedings of the committee. The clerk need not be a member of the committee. Either the chairman or the clerk may be removed at the pleasure of the committee.

Section 4.06 Meetings.

The School Committee shall adopt its own rules and order of business and shall hold at least nine regular meetings in every year, at such time and place within the town as the committee shall, by general or special order, fix and determine.
All meetings are to be open to the public, in accordance with the provisions of state law and section 15.04 of this Charter.

Section 4.07 Powers and duties.

[Amended 11-2-1999]
(a) 
Control school policy. The School Committee shall determine and control all policies affecting the administration, maintenance and operation of the public schools. It shall have all the powers and perform all the duties prescribed by the laws of the state.
(b) 
Submit budget estimates. The School Committee shall submit budget estimates to the Town Manager for the manager's consideration on or before a date to be fixed by the Town Council. The allocation of amounts appropriated shall be determined by the School Committee and final action by the Town Council upon the budget proposals of the School Committee shall relate only to the total amount thereof.
(c) 
Buildings and equipment. The School Committee shall be responsible for the location of school buildings; for the maintenance, care, control and upkeep of all school buildings and grounds, including repairs of buildings; and for the proper use of all materials, furniture, supplies, and equipment now in its possession or which, in the future, may be acquired.
(d) 
New buildings and additions. When a new school building is to be constructed, or an addition made to an existing school building, or an existing school building is to be extensively remodeled or rebuilt at a cost of more than two hundred fifty thousand dollars ($250,000.00), the Town Council shall appoint a bipartisan school building committee of nine (9) members. Two (2) of the members of said committee shall be members of the School Committee; two (2) shall be members of the Town Council; and the remaining five (5) members shall be electors of the town. The Superintendent of Schools and the Town Solicitor shall serve as ex-officio members of said building committee but shall not have a vote. A new committee shall be appointed for each new project.
(e) 
Purchasing. At the request of the School Committee, the Town Manager may direct the Department of Public Works to perform work on property within the jurisdiction of the School Committee and may direct the purchasing agent to purchase materials, supplies, and equipment specified by the school department for use in the public schools, the cost of such work, and of such materials, supplies and equipment to be charged to the school department appropriation.
(f) 
Power of subpoena. The School Committee shall have the power to issue subpoenas and to compel witnesses to testify and produce records as prescribed by law.
(g) 
Other. The School Committee may exercise such other powers and perform such other duties as are prescribed by law and are not inconsistent with this Charter.

Section 4.08 Cooperation with other departments.

The School Committee shall cooperate with the Director of Finance and Town Treasurer in order that they may carry out the duties imposed upon them by the provisions of Section 10.14 and any other and further duties which the Town Council may establish.

Section 4.09 Annual report.

The School Committee shall annually prepare a complete report of its finances and its activities. The report shall be a public record and made available within fourteen (14) days after the end of the fiscal year. A copy thereof shall be on file and available for inspection at the office of the School Committee and in the office of the Town Clerk.

Section 4.10 Forfeiture of office.

[Added 11-8-2016]
A School Committee member shall forfeit office if the member (1) lacks, at any time during the term of office, any qualifications for the office prescribed by this Charter, or by law; (2) violates any express provision of this Charter; or (3) is convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude.