Lawmakers in Rhode Island are considering asking voters to amend the state constitution to try to improve public schools.
The state Senate passed legislation this week sponsored by Democratic Sen. Roger Picard to place a question on the next statewide ballot asking voters to amend the state constitution to guarantee “an equitable, adequate and meaningful education to each child.” It will now be considered by the House of Representatives.
Picard said such a constitutional guarantee would ensure that systems that are failing children are addressed because the guarantee would be legally enforceable.
He said he modeled the bill after a similar constitutional provision added in Massachusetts that helped transform its public educational system.
“We should make a very firm commitment to providing decent educational opportunities for every single child, regardless of their circumstances or their zip code,” Picard, who represents a district in Woonsocket and Cumberland, said in a statement.
Picard has introduced the bill in past legislative sessions. It passed the Senate for the first time late in last year’s session.
If it’s signed into law, the General Assembly and the state would be responsible for ensuring each child has an equitable, adequate and meaningful education.