Rhode Island KIDS COUNT - News, Research and Policy Information
July 14, 2011

FY12 Budget Signed by Governor Chafee

RI State HouseOn Friday, July 1, 2011, Rhode Island's FY12 budget went into effect. The $7.7 billion state budget included several items that will impact the health, well-being and education of Rhode Island's children.

  • Allocates an additional $17 million to fund the first year of a 10-year phase-in of the new school aid formula adopted by the General Assembly last year.
  • Allocates an additional $4 million for public higher education. Although the final budget does not include the full $10 million increase requested, it comes after years of budget cuts to public higher education.
  • Maintains the same eligibility requirements for the RIte Care health care program; no children, parents or individuals will be cut from the program.
  • Increases RIte Care premiums for families with incomes ranging from 150% to 250% of the federal poverty level (FPL). The increase in premiums is approximately $30 per month.  
  • Restores $100,000 in state funding for the University of Rhode Island's SNAP Outreach Program (formerly the Food Stamp Outreach Program).
  • Cuts $1.5 million in funding for the Neighborhood Opportunities Program (NOP). This fund is used to address the housing needs of low-income families and individuals with disabilities.

Later this month, Rhode Island KIDS COUNT will release its annual Legislative Wrap-Up, that takes a closer look at the status of selected laws and budget appropriations affecting Rhode Island's children.

New Issue Briefs Released

High School Graduation Rates Issue Brief

Rhode Island KIDS COUNT recently released its latest Issue Briefs - Improving High School Graduation Rates in Rhode Island and the updated Reading by the End of Third Grade Matters - during a policy roundtable event in Providence. The Issue Briefs provide several recommendations for improving graduation rates and reading proficiency in Rhode Island, including developing early warning systems that identify and intervene with students who are struggling. Read related articles in the Providence Journal, Westerly Sun and Johnston Patch or view a photo gallery from the event.

"Data in Your Backyard" Presentations Begin

Providence Data in Your Backyard presentation Rhode Island KIDS COUNT began a series of presentations featuring data from the 2011 Rhode Island KIDS COUNT Factbook. The "Data in Your Backyard" presentations are held in the urban core communities, as well as in any community that requests one.
Each presentation features community-specific data about the well-being of children and families and is followed by a discussion of the findings.

Presentations have already been given in Providence and Pawtucket. Presentations for the remaining core cities (Central Falls, Newport, West Warwick and Woonsocket) will take place in the fall. Read a related article that appeared in the Providence Business News.

Child Welfare Discussed on Rhode Island KIDS COUNT TV Show

Rhode Island KIDS COUNT TV Show

Darlene Allen, Executive Director of Adoption Rhode Island, and Catherine Walsh, Deputy Director of Rhode Island KIDS COUNT, appeared on the latest episode of the Rhode Island KIDS COUNT television show. They joined host Elizabeth Burke Bryant to discuss ways to prevent child abuse and neglect in the state of Rhode Island.

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In This Issue
starFY12 Budget Signed by Governor Chafee
starNew Issue Briefs Released
star"Data in Your Backyard" Presentations Begin
starChild Welfare Discussed on Rhode Island KIDS COUNT TV Show
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Rhode Island KIDS COUNT works to improve the health, education, safety, economic security and development of Rhode Island's children.