Rhode Island KIDS COUNT - News, Research and Policy Information
June 19, 2012
Special Edition: Fiscal Year 2013 Budget
RI State House

On Friday, June 15, 2012, Governor Lincoln Chafee signed the $8.1 billion state FY2013 budget bill into law. The budget -2012 H 7323 Substitute A - includes many items that will affect the well-being of Rhode Island's children and families.

Below is a look at some of them:


  • Fully funds the second year of the education funding formula, providing an additional $22.1 million over FY2012 and also provides an additional $11 million to accelerate aid for underfunded school districts and charter schools.
  • Fully funds the categorical programs that are part of the funding formula, including high-cost special education, career and technical education, regionalization bonuses, transportation and State Pre-K. 
  • Includes a $20 million technology investment to provide wireless infrastructure to classrooms statewide to allow access to online textbooks and manage the information needed to track student, teacher and school performance.  
  • Restores $270,000 for the administration of the School Breakfast Program.  
  • Restores $240,000 for school districts to reimburse non-public schools for the cost of textbooks for English/language arts and history/social studies. 
  • Does not increase housing aid for charter schools by calculating reimbursement based on a three-year average of the rates for the communities in which students reside, as proposed by the Governor.  
  • Does not merge the Rhode Island Higher Education Assistance Authority (RIHEAA) with the Office of Higher Education, as proposed by the Governor. 
  • Begins the process of establishing a new Rhode Island Board of Education that will replace the Board of Regents for Elementary and Secondary Education and the Board of Governors for Higher Education, effective January 1, 2013.  
  • Requires the newly established Rhode Island Board of Education to submit a report to the Governor by July 1, 2013 detailing how all administrative functions of the Office of Higher Education should be distributed to the three public higher education institutions - CCRI, RIC and URI.

Early Learning 

  • Provides $1.45 million for the State Pre-K categorical program that was adopted as part of the education funding formula. This funding will support 8 State Pre-K classrooms serving 144 children for the 2012-2013 school year.
  • Maintains the existing co-payment structure for the Child Care Assistance Program. A proposal to increase child care co-payments was withdrawn by the Governor. 
  • Maintains $1 million in state-directed funding for Head Start. 

Child Welfare/Juvenile Justice

  • Adds $6.1 million to the Department of Children, Youth and Families (DCYF) budget to fully support the implementation of Phase II of the System of Care initiative, which is set to begin on July 1, 2012. 
  • Restores $375,000 in general revenue to DCYF to reverse the Governor's proposed reduction of the YESS aftercare program by 19.5%. 
  • Reduces DCYF's budget by $53,185 by eliminating life skills assessment, education and transition planning support for youth at the Rhode Island Training School. 
  • Adds $500,000 to support education costs for children in DCYF care. This is the first year of a five year process to transition financial responsibility for children in DCYF care attending school outside their home districts from the schools to the state. 
  • Shifts $450,000 from DCYF's FY2012 to FY2013 budget for accreditation with the Council on Accreditation (DCYF did not complete the accreditation process in FY2012). 
  • Amends Rhode Island General Law 40-11-7 to restore language that was removed from the FY2012 budget that allows DCYF to directly petition Family Court for the provision of services in cases where abuse or neglect have been indicated but a child has not been removed from the home.


  • Maintains Medicaid dental services for pregnant women, parents of children with RIte Care coverage, disabled adults ages 21 and older, and nursing home residents. The proposal to eliminate Medicaid dental services was withdrawn by the Governor. The Budget proposed by the General Assembly also requires the Executive Office of Health and Human Services to present a report to the General Assembly analyzing the benefit and presenting a five year plan for dental care for adults with Medicaid coverage. 
  • Adds $21.1 million in federal funding to establish Rhode Island's Health Insurance Benefits Exchange within the Office of the Governor. 
  • Funds the enhancement of the Medicaid Management Information System (MMIS) and the development of a fully-integrated eligibility system, which will improve the RIte Care and RIte Share programs and be a key part of the soon-to-be-created Rhode Island Health Insurance Exchange. The new eligibility system will not only serve the needs of the Medicaid program, but will also improve other benefit programs and will eventually replace the InRhodes system. 
  • Requires clinical utilization reviews for services for children seeking Medicaid health coverage through the Katie Beckett provision. 
  • Reduces managed care capitation rates to RIte Care health plans by 4.14% as proposed.
Economic Well-being 
  • Allows for a $25 million affordable housing bond to be put on the ballot. 
  • Does not fund the Neighborhood Opportunities Program (NOP), which addresses the housing needs of low-income families and individuals with disabilities, but asks Rhode Island Housing to provide these funds from its own resources. 
Click here to review the complete FY2013 budget. You can also visit our website to read our public testimony on behalf of Rhode Island's children and to download a PDF of this budget analysisKeep an eye out for our Legislative Wrap-Up which will be released in July. 
Visit us at www.rikidscount.org
In This Issue
starFiscal Year 2013 Budget
starEarly Learning
starChild Welfare/Juvenile Justice
starEconomic Well-being
Join the mailing list
Rhode Island KIDS COUNT works to improve the health, education, safety, economic security and development of Rhode Island's children.