Feb. 11, 2020

 

                                                           

House OKs McNamara bill that would allow school districts to raise funds for field trips, dances, activities

 

STATE HOUSE — The House of Representatives today passed legislation introduced by Rep. Joseph M. McNamara (D-Dist. 19, Warwick, Cranston) that would allow school districts to raise the money necessary to fund certain extracurricular activities, including field trips and dances.

The legislation (2020-H 7069A) would allow a school district to request a contribution of money from a student or the student’s parent or legal guardian to pay, in whole or in part, for the cost of district sponsored field trips, dances, clubs, and other district sponsored or based programs of extracurricular activities, provided that the district would pay the costs to meet any deficit.

“Field trips are an important part of learning, enriching the curriculum, strengthening observation skills by immersing children into sensory activities,” said Representative McNamara, a former educator who chairs the House Health, Education and Welfare Committee. “The current policy of the Department of Education regarding the way these activities can be funded has caused many school districts to do away with field trips entirely. That’s just unacceptable, because they are vital in increasing a child’s knowledge of specific subjects, even generating the interest, enthusiasm and passion for subjects that will remain with them for the rest of their lives.”

Last year, many school districts canceled field trips in the wake of a Rhode Island Department of Education policy that was established in April by the former commissioner, Dr. Ken Wagner. The policy stated that school departments may not charge students to participate in public school field trips. Since it was interpreted that no fund raising could be done for these trips either, the policy effectively eliminated the field trips in many places.

The legislation proposed by Representative McNamara with the support of House leadership would codify the ability of school districts to request money, establish a minimum goal for fundraising and to receive contributions or gifts of money as a prerequisite to determining whether the district would participate in the activity.

The measure now moves to the Senate, where similar legislation (2020-S 2327) has been introduced by Sen. Hanna M. Gallo (D-Dist. 27, Cranston, West Warwick).

 

 

-30-

 

For an electronic version of this and all press releases published by the Legislative Press and Public Information Bureau, please visit our Web site at www.rilegislature.gov/pressrelease.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The nation's top health official is easing fears about the coronavirus. At a White House event, Health Secretary Alex Azar said most Americans have little to worry about when it comes to the outbreak of the deadly respiratory disease. Azar also praised President Trump for taking quick action to prevent the disease from spreading in the U.S.       The week keeps getting worse on Wall Street. The Dow Jones Industrial Average suffered the single biggest point drop in history, falling nearly 12-hundred points. Investors are still rattled by the toll of the coronavirus outbreak on the world economy.        A new report claims Michael Bloomberg offered former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang a big position in his campaign. The Wall Street Journal says Bloomberg told Yang he could be his vice presidential running mate if he endorsed the former New York City mayor. Yang dropped out of the race after the Iowa caucuses.        The federal government says USC ignored sexual abuse complaints against a campus doctor. The Eduction Department says the college mishandled reports against George Tyndall. He worked as a gynecologist until 2016 and allegedly had 200-plus revealing photos of patients in his office.        The FCC is planning to hit four mobile phone providers with 200-million-dollars in fines. AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile are accused of improperly disclosing user location data in violation of federal law. A website flaw apparently allowed customers' locations to be tracked by third-party firms in real-time.       'Fetch!' is finally happening. The 2004 cult-classic, "Mean Girls," is getting its own pop-up restaurant in Santa Monica. Menu items will include boozy choices like the Too Gay to Function Fishbowl and the Spiked Glen Coco.