Rhode Island KIDS COUNT - News, Research and Policy Information
July 2, 2009
New Issue Brief Released on                                Effective Public Education Policies
Secretary of Education Paul Reville
Rhode Island KIDS COUNT released its latest Issue Brief, Effective Public Education Policies: Lessons from Massachusetts and New Jersey, at a policy roundtable with national experts on education reform: Paul Reville, Massachusetts Secretary of Education, and Kathleen Dunn Priestley, Consultant to the National Institute for Early Education Research and Association for Children of New Jersey. Rhode Island Commissioner of Education Deborah A. Gist, on her first day as Commissioner, responded to the report and outlined the agenda she has planned for her first 100 days. View pictures from the event.
State Legislative Highlights
2009 General Assembly Session
Despite a difficult budget, there was some progress for children and families in the 2009 legislative session, including:

Economic Well-Being

  • Of the approximately 3,000 families scheduled to lose cash assistance starting July 1, about half will remain eligible through June 30, 2010. 
  • State funding to administer the School Breakfast Program was maintained.
  • The budget includes $2.5 million for affordable housing through the Neighborhood Opportunities Program.


  • $800,000 in state funding for Head Start was preserved. 
  • A Pre-K demonstration program was funded.
  • Funding for charter schools was expanded. 
  • $100,000 was approved for an Expanded Learning Time initiative.


  • Eligibility for RIte Care was maintained at 250% of the federal poverty level (FPL) for children and 175% FPL for parents.
  • RIte Care eligibility was restored for uninsured children who are lawfully residing immigrants.
  • Dental coverage for parents enrolled in RIte Care was maintained.
  • RIte Care premiums were reduced to July 1, 2008 levels and premiums were eliminated for low-income families with incomes between 133-150% of FPL.
  • The RIte Care "buy-in" program for income-eligible pregnant women was maintained.

Watch for the full review of the legislative session in Rhode Island KIDS COUNT's 2009 Legislative Wrap-up to be released in late July.
Youth Development
End Youth Violence
Teny Gross and Sal on Show
The Institute for the Study and Practice of Nonviolence was recently featured on the Rhode Island KIDS COUNT Cable Television Show. Teny Gross and Sal Monteiro, Jr., discuss the Institute's approach to youth violence prevention, which includes streetworker outreach, nonviolence training for youth, job readiness skills, summer jobs, victim support for families and college prep. For more information on the Institute, go to www.nonviolenceinstitute.org

Rhode Island KIDS COUNT dedicates this KIDS COUNT television show to the memory and life's work of David Cartagena, Senior Streetworker at the Institute for the Study and Practice of Nonviolence. 
Visit us at www.rikidscount.org
In This Issue
star New Issue Brief Released on Effective Public Education Policies
star 2009 General Assembly Session
star End Youth Violence
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Rhode Island KIDS COUNT works to improve the health, education, safety, economic security and development of Rhode Island's children.