As students across Rhode Island return to the classroom, RIPEC brings you an update on public policy developments in the Ocean State.
RIPEC on Public Policy
- RIPEC released a report on the enacted FY 2023 budget, which was characterized by an unprecedented amount of one-time federal relief and general revenue surplus funds. The report concluded that lawmakers were responsible in allocating these funds to one-time uses and avoiding adding to the state’s structural deficit. RIPEC recommended using future available revenues to prepare the state for a potential economic downturn and to commit greater focus to the execution of programs financed with American Rescue Plan Act and surplus funds. To review the top takeaways and additional recommendations, read our executive summary here.
- Providence Business News, “RIPEC: State can’t rely on federal funds for future spending”
- Responding to a WPRI-12 analysis showing that many of the state’s largest school districts have not begun spending their allocations of the $333.1 million in federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funding received by Rhode Island districts, RIPEC President and CEO Michael DiBiase called for greater urgency and transparency surrounding the funds. “It should be the highest priority to direct ESSER funds to more teaching and learning to help bring students up to where they should be,” he said.
- Michael DiBiase joined Joe Paolino “In the Arena” to discuss the enacted state budget, Rhode Island’s labor market, and proposals for addressing Providence’s large unfunded pension liability.
- In the first nationwide assessment of student progress since the COVID-19 pandemic, results from the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) long-term trend standardized test given in 2022 to 4th grade students showed steep declines in reading and math proficiency. The decline in reading scores was the largest since 1990, while math scores declined for the first time since the test was first administered in the 1970s.
- A new report from the Tax Foundation compares states’ reliance on various revenue sources at the state and local level for fiscal year 2020. Rhode Island ranked seventh among states in its reliance on property tax revenues, which accounted for 42.7 percent of combined state and local revenues that year.
What to Look for in September
- The deadline to submit nominations for RIPEC’s Public Service Awards is this Friday, September 9th. If you know a distinguished public servant at the state or local level deserving of recognition, please consider submitting a nomination. RIPEC will honor awardees at our Annual Meeting on October 24th.