Dept. of Ed: $40B of Stimulus Filling State Education Budget Shortfalls

Published: February 2, 2010

The U.S. Department of Education is reporting that Recovery Act funding is being used to fill over $40 billion in projected state education budget shortfalls for FY ‘09 and FY ‘10. In a statement released by the department Feb. 1, it claims that although state and local budgets remain strained, most school systems throughout the country would be facing more severe fiscal situations without this funding.

The department further claims that as a result of the Recovery Act, since its inception, it has supported approximately 400,000 positions, including teachers, principals, librarians, counselors, corrections officers, public health personnel and construction workers.

A detailed analysis of the reported data shows a slight decline in SFSF jobs for the quarter ending Dec. 31, 2009, reflecting that a significant portion of this funding was used in the previous reporting period as states filled immediate funding needs. Conversely, the number of jobs attributed to IDEA and Title I Recovery Act funding increased significantly between the first round and this reporting period – a 47 percent increase for IDEA and 41 percent increase for Title I.

The accelerated use of these funds suggests that in the first quarter they were used to lay the groundwork for reform programs and now are generating the jobs to support the these programs while continuing to fill positions threatened by state or local budget cuts.

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The data posted on represent the second quarterly report of Recovery Act spending. As part of the transparency requirements of the ARRA, all prime recipients of over $25,000 in funding are required to report quarterly on their expenditures. Approximately 98 percent of the 2,514 Department of Education Recovery Act grant recipients required to report for the quarter ended Dec. 31, 2009, filed reports on time.

To summarize the distribution of funding, the Recovery Act provided approximately $100 billion to the U.S. Department of Education with the initial goal of delivering emergency education funding to States. Thus far, $69 billion of these funds have been awarded to states and other eligible recipients through the following grant programs:

  • SFSF: $36.9 billion
  • Title I : $10.0 billion
  • IDEA: $12.2 billion
  • Student Financial Assistance: $8.7 billion
  • Education Technology: $649 million
  • Vocational Rehabilitation: $539 million
  • School Improvement Grants: $149 million
  • Independent Living: $73 million
  • McKinney Vento Homeless: $70 million
  • Teacher Incentive Fund: $54 million
  • Impact Aid: $40 million

In addition to supporting education jobs throughout the country, these funds were intended to lay the foundation for education reforms. Since the implementation of the Recovery Act big steps were also made towards the four education reform priorities at the core of all ARRA grants and at the foundation of the Department’s overall agenda to promote:

  • College and Career Ready Standards and assessments
  • Strategies to recruit, train and retain Effective teachers and leaders
  • Establishment of interoperable Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems; and
  • Aggressive Interventions to Turn Around our Nation’s Lowest-Performing Schools

Examples of such momentum include the fact that 12 states passed significant legislative reforms in line with these reform priorities, 40 states and the District of Columbia applied for Race To The Top fund, and ARRA funds have been used for substantial investments professional development and classroom technology practices aimed at improving student achievement.

Approximately $30 billion dollars in additional ARRA funding will be distributed in the coming months to continue supporting jobs and furthering the Department’s four reform priorities. The Department will also continue to promote this agenda through other efforts beyond the Recovery Act such as the FY 2011 budget negotiations and the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).

To read the full press release, click here.

Posted in: News

Tagged with: Funding & Grants

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