Rhode Island House Republican leader Blake Filippi on Tuesday proposed a radical overhaul of the state's public education system — including a new set of academies to teach English — in his response to Gov. Gina Raimondo's State of the State speech.

"Rhode Island has a two-classed education system: if you live in the right zip code or have the means to send your family to private school, they will most likely get a good education and have limitless potential," Filippi said in his speech as prepared for delivery. "If you don’t live in the right zip code, and can’t afford private school, your family faces an uncertain future, lacking social mobility."

Filippi said Rhode Island public school students should be allowed to attend any school they want in any district in the state, as long as it has space, with state education funding that "follows the child" as it does now when students go to charter public schools of vocational programs outside their home district.

To deal with the "English-as-second-language crisis," in which "many school districts are inundated with children [who] cannot speak English," Filippi said Republican lawmakers are proposing "State Language academies," where non-native speakers would be sent to learn English.

"Once proficient, students will matriculate back to their sending school district, where they can then begin their careers as lifelong learners," he said.

To pay for the GOP education initiatives, Filippi proposes a new tax on college and university endowments. 

"It’s time for our local universities and colleges with substantial endowments to share in the cost of educating the next generation of higher education learners," he said.

To reduce college debt, Filippi also proposed a $1,000-per-year tax credit that residents could use to pay off their student loans. It would be paid out of the state's current economic development incentives, which he described as "handouts of taxpayer funded corporate welfare."

Moving to taxes, Filippi called for the state to stop taxing retirement income and shield more inherited wealth from the estate tax.

Filippi did not mention Raimondo or any Democratic officials by name, but he criticized the state's fiscal management and the $180-million to $200-million projected structural deficit for next year that Raimondo will seek to plug in her budget later this week.

"We are facing this deficit during one of the greatest economic expansions our country has experienced. We should be having surpluses right now, like Massachusetts," Filippi said. "We must get our fiscal house in order, because we are setting up government expenditures that will not be able to survive an economic downturn — and there will be immense pain from drastic cuts in the event of a recession."

Raising longtime Republican priorities, Filippi called again for giving the governor line-item veto power and creating an independent inspector general.

And on less-traditional Republican ground — the environment — Filippi said the state should restore funding to the Department of Environmental Management and parks, which he said have been "gutted in recent years."

Finally, he proposed clarifying public shoreline access rights in the state Constitution.

"There is a lack of clarity where private property ends and the public shoreline begins — all over this state — and this has led to unnecessary conflict," he said.