House Budget Slashes Funding For RIDE

Jun 11, 2015

Credit RIPR file photo

The latest version of the state budget would cut nearly $1 million from the Rhode Island Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, but most of the governor's other education programs remain intact.

In a written statement, acting Education Commissioner David Abbot praised the budget for increasing aid to school districts, expanding funding for preschool and all-day Kindergarten and boosting aid for school construction.

However, he expressed concerns about an $800,000 cut to the State Department of Education.

"This significant decrease in funding will impact our programming and may lead to cuts in personnel," Abbot said. "Specifically, we will need to scale back our digital statewide instructional support system, among other programs."

House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello, also in a written statement, said the House Finance Committee looked closely at the governor's budget proposal. The committee approved most of the governor's education programs but drew the line when it came to added funding for the state education agency.

"The Governor requested significant new general revenue funding for the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education budget.  Some of those items were not included in the final product," Mattiello said.