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Monday, February 16, 2009

What's in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act for Education?

We have heard much about the "stimulus package." So, exactly what is in there for education? The information below comes from the Principal's Policy Blog sponsored by the National Association of Secondary Principals. If you want to see the increase our school system will receive, the link at the very bottom of this post will even give you that.

Below is a chart of highlighted programs and funding levels in the recovery package, followed by selected program descriptions:

ProgramFunding Level
State Fiscal Stabilization Fund$53.6 billion
Title I$10 billion
School Improvement Grants$3 billion
Teacher Incentive Fund$200 million
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act$11.3 billion
Education for Homeless Children and Youth$70 million
Qualified School Construction Bonds$22 billion
Qualified Zone Academy Bonds$1.4 billion
Impact Aid$100 million
National School Lunch Program$100 million

State Fiscal Stabilization Fund
The funds provided under this program are intended to prevent and restore state cuts in education and other services.

Governors must use 81.8% of these funds to support elementary, secondary, and higher education. School districts receiving these funds may only use them for activities authorized under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Perkins (Career and Technical Education), and for school modernization, renovation, and repair of public school facilities (including charter schools), which may include modernization, renovation, and repairs consistent with a recognized green building rating system.

Under this program, the U.S. Secretary of Education is authorized to award Incentive Grants to states that made significant progress in achieving equity in teacher distribution, establishing a longitudinal data system, and enhancing assessments for English Language Learners and students with disabilities.

In addition, for fiscal years 2009 – 2011, states are required to maintain their funding levels for elementary and secondary education at least at the FY 2006 level. However the U.S. Secretary of Education may waive or modify this requirement for states and districts that have experienced a precipitous decline in financial resources.

Targeting Assistance to Low-Income, High-Need Students and Supporting Innovation
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act recognizes the essential link between education and increased U.S. global competitiveness and economic prosperity by providing $22.3 billion for programs under ESEA and IDEA

The bill provides significant new support for programs such as Title I and IDEA, which target funding to the low-income, high-need students and schools that have been hardest hit by the economic recession. The recovery bill also provides funding for innovation in education, such as the Teacher Incentive Fund, which supports efforts to develop and implement teacher and principal performance-based compensation systems.

This bill also requires the Institute for Educational Sciences to conduct a rigorous national evaluation that assesses the impact of performance-based compensation systems on teacher and principal recruitment and retention in high-need schools and subjects.

State and District Funding Levels
Many of the education funds in the recovery package will be disbursed over two years, with the first half of funds becoming available on July 1, 2009, and the second half on July 1, 2010.

In the coming weeks and months the U.S. Department of Education will also issue guidance and regulations to assist states and districts in their applications for and uses of State Fiscal Stabilization Fund grants. For additional information, please visit www.ed.gov.

Many educators are anxious to know how much their state and district will likely get under the recovery package. To answer those questions, the Congressional Research Service has created two documents which estimate funding allocations for the state and district levels.

To view the state tables visit http://edlabor.house.gov/documents/111/pdf/publications/ARRA-estimatedstateeducationfunding-20090213.pdf.

To view the district tables visit http://edlabor.house.gov/documents/111/pdf/publications/ARRA-estimatedallocationstoLEAs-20090213.pdf.


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