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Federal stimulus funding: ARRA

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 created and expanded a wide array of programs across multiple federal agencies, and funded existing programs as well over a two-year period (FY 2009 and FY 2010). ARRA supports 21 programs, both new and expanded, under the Department of Education to stimulate the economy in the short term and invest in education and other essential public services to ensure the long-term economic health of our nation.

ARRA education programs impacting education:

State Fiscal Stabilization Funds ($53.4 billion): To help stabilize state and local government budgets in order to minimize or avoid reductions in education and other essential public services. Nearly $40 billion of this was specifically intended to help ensure that local educational agencies (LEAs) and public institutions of higher education (IHEs) have the resources to avert cuts and retain teachers and professors. Another $5 million of the SFSF was distributed as competitive grants to states through Race to the Top (RTTT) and Investment in Innovations (i3) grants (US Department of Education, March 7, 2010). And nearly $9 billion was for states to use for modernization and repair of public school facilities and other government services.

Race to the Top ($4 billion): A grant competition administered by the U.S. Department of Education to provide an incentive to get states to remove barriers to reform. Grantees will have to implement reforms in teacher quality, high academic standards, using data to drive reform, and turning around low-performing schools.

Investment in Innovations Funds ($650 million): This fund is intended to support innovations that have succeeded in improving school performance, ranging from small grants (up to $5 million) for promising practices, to large grants (up to $50 million) for programs with strong evidence of effectiveness.

Title I Grants for Disadvantaged Students ($13 billion)

School Improvement Fund ($3.54 billion): Reforming the lowest-performing Title I schools and middle/high schools. Districts that receive this funding will have to implement one of four dramatic reforms in the lowest-performing schools, and will have to report on the outcomes. Targeted are the lowest-achieving schools, which must use one of four prescriptive models to raise student achievement.

Race to the Top--Assessment ($350 million): Assessments aligned with new national academic standards.

Teacher Incentive Fund ($300 million): Incentive pay for high-performing teachers and principals in high-need schools.

Other ARRA education programs:

New Qualified School Construction Bonds: $22 billion in bond authority for 2009 and 2010. 
Special Education/IDEA ($12.2 billion)
Head Start/Early Head Start ($2.1 billion)
Education Technology ($650 million)
Statewide Data Systems ($250 million)

For a more comprehensive list of ARRA education programs and their funding levels, check out NSBA’s Economic Stimulus Resource Center

Source: U.S Chamber of Commerce. The Education Stimulus Report Volume 1, Issue 7 and NSBA’s Economic Stimulus Resource Center

Published October 7, 2010.  © 2010 Center for Public Education.

This study was written and researched by Jim Hull, Center for Public Education's Senior Policy Analyst.
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