There shall be a School Committee which shall consist of six members, elected from the Town at large, to serve four-year terms, or until their successors are elected and qualified. The terms of the School Committee shall be arranged in such manner that three members will be elected every two years.
Members of the School Committee, as defined in this Charter, shall, at the time of their election and during their term of office, be residents for at least six months next preceding the election and qualified electors of the Town of Glocester. No member of the School Committee shall be eligible to accept any other paid appointed School Department office during their term on the School Committee or for a period of one year thereafter.
[Amended 7-1997; 11-2000; 11-2-2004; 11-4-2008]
Vacancies. A vacancy shall exist in the School Committee if a member dies, submits in the Office of the Town Clerk a resignation in writing, ceases to meet the qualifications for membership, is convicted of a felony or a crime of moral turpitude, or is absent from four consecutive months of School Committee meetings, unless such absences are excused by a majority vote of the whole School Committee, with reasons stated at the time and appearing in the journal of the meetings from which the School Committee member was excused.
Forfeiture. A School Committee member shall forfeit that office if that member violates any express prohibition of this Charter, state or federal law.
Filling of vacancies. The School Committee candidate from the last General or Special Election receiving the next highest total of votes shall fill any vacancy in the membership of the School Committee. In the event of a tie the Town Council shall appoint. If the next highest candidate is unavailable then the next available qualified candidate shall be chosen until the list is exhausted. If no qualified candidate is available from the list, the vacancy shall be filled by a majority vote of the Town Council. The new candidate shall be sworn into office at a Regular School Committee meeting no later than 30 days following certification by the Board of Canvassers as to the eligibility of the member designated to fill the vacancy.
The School Committee shall annually provide to the Town Council its recommendations for compensation for its members, and the Council shall forward these recommendations in the budget to be voted on at a Financial Town Referendum for the approval of the townspeople.
The School Committee shall elect a chairperson and vice-chairperson from its membership and shall adopt its own rules and order of business.
The School Committee shall determine and control all policies affecting the administration, maintenance and operation of the public schools, and shall have all the powers and be subject to all the duties as prescribed by the laws of the State.
The School Committee shall appoint a Superintendent of Schools as its chief administrative agent and appoint a clerk to the School Committee.
The School Committee shall have the power to inquire into the conduct of any office, department or activity of the public schools and make investigations as to school affairs.
The appointment and removal of all school employees and fixing of salaries shall be made by the School Committee and upon recommendation of the Superintendent of Schools, except as may be provided otherwise by the laws of the State. Except for the purpose of inquiry, the School Committee, as far as is consistent with the laws of the State, shall deal with the administration of the public schools solely through the Superintendent of Schools and neither the School Committee nor any member thereof shall give orders to any subordinate of the Superintendent or other administrative officers to whom the work is delegated.
The School Committee shall submit budget estimates to the Town Council in the same manner provided by law as other Departments, but the budget estimates and appropriations shall be considered by the Council and in the Town's budget process in total only. The allocation of the amounts appropriated shall be determined by the School Committee.
The School Committee shall prepare a complete report of its finances and activities at the close of the fiscal year. Such report shall be included as a separate action in the annual report to the Council.
The meetings of the School Committee, except when in Executive Session, shall be open and accessible to the public. Final action shall be taken only in open meeting.
The School Committee shall have the power to issue subpoenas to compel witnesses to testify and produce records as prescribed by law.
The School Committee shall exercise such other powers and perform such other duties as prescribed by law and as are not inconsistent with this Charter.
Whenever a new school building or an addition to an existing building shall be planned, a Building Committee shall be formed consisting of seven qualified electors appointed by the Town Council to serve at the pleasure of the Council. The Building Committee shall be responsible for the planning and supervision of all such construction relating to new school buildings or additions to existing buildings. The Building Committee shall be organized at the call of the Town Clerk after the appropriation of funds and the acquisition of land have been completed. Any member(s) may be removed without cause from the Building Committee by a majority vote of the Town Council. Any vacancy in the membership of the Building Committee shall be filled by the Town Council.
In the event and so long as the entire public school system of the Town of Glocester shall be regionalized with that of another City or Town, pursuant to the General Laws of the State Of Rhode Island, now or hereafter in effect, the provisions of §§ C6-1 through C6-7, both inclusive, and all other provisions of this Charter relating to public schools shall be inoperative; provided, that in the event the regionalization agreement does not provide for the manner of the selection of the members of the School Committee from the Town of Glocester, members of the Glocester Regional Committee will be elected as in Article VI, Section I, of the Home Rule Charter.
The Public Works Department, when requested by the School Committee and with the approval of the Council, may be made responsible for the care and maintenance of school buildings and grounds, provided that the cost of such care and maintenance shall be charged against the appropriation for the schools.
The financial accounting responsibilities of the School Department shall be performed by the Town Department of Finance.
[Added 11-2-2004; amended 11/4/2014]
If, at any time during the fiscal year, it is determined that the remaining unexpended balance of the total appropriations for the Glocester School Department will be insufficient to cover the items budgeted, the Superintendent of Schools shall advise the School Committee to reconsider the programs and revise allotments so as to forestall any expenditures which would result in excess of appropriations. The School Committee shall advise the Town Council and the Director of Finance that the situation has occurred and provide the Town Council with a revised work plan that eliminates any potential deficit. Remaining amounts in any unappropriated fund balance may not be used to cover over expenditures without the approval by vote of the taxpayers of the Town of Glocester at a Financial Town Referendum.