The Board of Regents for Elementary and Secondary Education meets this week to consider a budget request for the coming fiscal year.
The Department of Education is preparing two scenarios: one for level-funding and one for a seven percent decrease.
This is one of just two meetings and two work sessions remaining before the board is dissolved in favor of a single Board of Education. The new board will oversee both elementary and secondary schools and Rhode Island’s three institutions of higher education.
Moody’s Investors Service says the $8.1 billion budget signed into law by Governor Lincoln Chafee on June 15 “is credit positive for Central Falls and schools, but leaves Woonsocket and pensions unaddressed.”
Moody’s points to “a material increase in funding for schools” — $34 million, or almost 4 percent, “marking the third consecutive annual increase in school funding. State funding for education now stands at over $900 million, well above pre-recession peak.”
The House budget approved early this morning does away with the State Office of Higher Education, although it keeps the position of Commissioner of Higher Education. The change takes effect in 2014.
The budget also consolidates the boards of higher education and elementary and secondary education into a single board to be known as the Rhode Island Board of Education, effective at the start of 2013.