- For the upcoming academic year, eligibility for school-based child nutrition programs will return to pre-pandemic processes.
- The pre-K lottery is open for applications. More information here.
- The federal Department of Education agreed to pause federal student loan payments and collections through August 1, 2022.
- RIDE has submitted summer child nutrition program waiver requests that are pending USDA approval.
Elementary and Secondary Schools:
- In response to the pandemic, the Child Nutrition expanded program permitted all students to receive free breakfast and lunch. This was allowed through a special waiver of the regular CN rules. This waiver expires on June 30, 2022. After that, in order for children to qualify for free or reduced lunch they will need submit an application. More information about school based nutrition programs here.
- Applications for the pre-K lottery are being accepted through July 6, 2022. Full details about student eligibility and application here.
- K-12 COVID-19 Data Dashboard available here.
- Health and Safety guidance for the 2021-2022 school year here.
Resources for Students and Parents:
- RIDE has this resource page for special education
- Early childhood resources
- Home visiting resources
- US DOE Factsheet about resources for students with Long COVID-19
- Licensed Child Care Programs are open. Full list here.
- Child care providers are required to follow this playbook (ESP) (updated March 14, 2022).
- Child-care assistance program and Head Start information.
University and Federal Student Loans:
- On October 19, 2021, a new law was signed guaranteeing in-state tuition for all Rhode Islanders regardless of immigration status. Conditions apply. More information here.
- Federal student loan repayments are paused through August 31, 2022. More information here. During this time, the loans will have a 0% interest rate and qualifying non-payments will count toward the income-driven repayment plan. The suspension does not apply to private loans, and it will not reduce the overall balance owed.
The Bottom Line
Spotlight on non-discrimination:
- Care teams working with children, youths and their families can help uplift key anti-discrimination rights to help protect against discrimination in publicly funded schools.
- Under federal law, discrimination is prohibited on the basis of race, color and national origin, sex, disability, or age. RI also prohibits discrimination based on a student’s (perceived or actual) sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. Schools are required to maintain anti-discrimination polices that set out procedures to report discrimination (can be more protective).
- You can help a student who believes they’ve been discriminated against in their school by:
- Helping a student to access their school’s anti-discrimination policy
- Sharing the RI Department of Education’s Civil Rights webpage
- Connecting families to the US Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights to file a complaint or to the RI American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).