More RI pre-K classrooms, crackdown on vaping in McKee’s education budget

PROVIDENCE – Gov. Dan McKee wants to put more than $1.9 billion of his nearly $13.7-billion budget toward funding for elementary and secondary education.

McKee hinted at prioritizing education spending during his State of the State address earlier in the week. During his speech, he vowed to boost education funding, particularly for English language arts coaching and teachers’ professional development.

But overall, education is seeing a cut from the $2 billion in the enacted budget for Fiscal Year 2024. That’s because of the end of some federal dollars, such as emergency pandemic funds for schools, known as Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Funds, or ESSER funds. That’s a loss districts will now need to contend with. However, despite that loss, the state is proposing a boost to its share of education funding in the order of $63.7 million. That number represents new investments in the budget.