Friday, April 03, 2009

Education spending of stimulus funding

U.S. Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan just announced how states and school districts can begin receiving the first installment of education stimulus funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA).
Read the full story. is hosting an Open House through April 8, so you can get this type of breaking news and access to all of the vital coverage posted recently on the stimulus. Some highlights you won't want to miss while access is totally FREE:

For complete coverage and to keep fully up-to-the-minute, visit our Schools and the Stimulus page. Stay easily updated on all of the stimulus news: download the Stimulus widget and place it on your Web site, blog, Facebook page, or other personal page. Or get the RSS feed on the stimulus.

In addition to digging into the stimulus, you should also visit our annual report on how well states are incorporating technology into their schools, Technology Counts 2009: Breaking Away From Tradition: E-Education Expands Opportunities for Raising Achievement. Read about the latest research on e-education, find out how to search the internet for quality content, see how your state compares nationally, and download your state report.

During the Spring Open House, all articles are available gratis.

Highlights, edited slightly for brevity are below. Looks like a rehab of Schenley High School is very possible and able to be justified fully.

- significantly more spending flexibility on school construction than many administrators had expected.

- Unveiling the first payments at a school in Capitol Heights, Md.

- funding could be a once-in-a-lifetime phenomenon.

- to invest significantly in best practices and scale up what works

- stabilization funds used to backfill cuts,

- allows districts to spend funds on new school construction. Lawmakers had opposed funding for school construction during the drafting of the $787 billion stimulus package, which President Barack Obama signed into law in February.

- “[School construction] has the potential to eat up a lot of these funds, particularly for states that don’t have severe funding shortages,” said Vic Klatt, a lobbyist with the Washington firm Van Scoyoc Associates, who previously served as the staff director for Republicans on the House education committee. “People who are hoping a lot of this money will go for education reform activities may be a little disappointed.”

- “In an urban district, if 30 percent of your schools are not [meeting testing benchmarks] and ... all your teachers are doing well on your evaluations, that’s going to be embarrassing.”

- connect student-achievement data to individual teachers,

- track students from high school through college graduation.

- Some states prohibit the sharing of data across systems for privacy purposes.

- more flexibility than anticipated to use money on school construction. The completed bill permitted districts to undertake modernization and repairs.

- Districts may spend on any activities authorized under the No Child Left Behind Act and other statues—including the federal impact-aid program, which authorizes funds for building new schools.

- Secretary Duncan said the interpretation offers districts the flexibility to work on construction projects that fit local needs. “There’s a need there—there’s a need to do renovation and rehabilitation,” he said. “You have areas that are significantly overcrowded, and children jammed into buildings. That doesn’t work.”

- ... spend tens of billions in taxpayers’ money on virtually anything—including new school construction,

- Districts can use the impact-aid authority to pay down past debt

- a state may not limit how a local district uses its share of the stimulus money.

- “While states allocate the funds, it should be up to local school districts and colleges and universities to decide how to use this emergency aid, not states,” the statement released by his office says.

- States do have discretion in deciding how to spend money in the $8.8 billion Government Services Fund, which can be used for “public safety and other government services,” including assistance for K-12 or higher education, as well as to support administrative costs associated with implementing reporting requirements.

- any states playing “shell games” with stimulus spending would disqualify themselves for future funding. He singled out the $4.35 billion in discretionary money he has dubbed the “Race to the Top” fund.


Anonymous said...

The topic will be The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act "economic stimulus". Parents and
community members come and learn more about what this means for Pittsburgh Public Schools and
participate in a brainstorming session to help design an effective student and parent program.

April 7
9:30 AM – 11:00 AM Carnegie Library (Hill District)
2177 Center Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15219

April 14
12 Noon – 1:30 PM
YMCA North Side
600 W. North Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15212

April 21
6:30 PM – 8:00 PM
Pittsburgh Phillips K-5 (South Side)
1901 Sarah St.
Pittsburgh, PA 15203

Anonymous said...

Anon is this sponsored by PPS? Is there an official notice of the events posted anywhere? They don't seem to be listed on the parent engagement calendar.

Mark Rauterkus said...

I think I got this info from an email from Mark Conner. It is a PPS event.

I think.

Anonymous said...

From the report on PureReform and the Excellence for All meeting in March 2009:

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Mark Roosevelt spoke regarding plans that the PPS has for spending federal stimulus money. States that $2.6 billion dollars is slated for preK-12. He stated that fortunately, we are not in the same financial crisis that some districts are in (i.e. laying off teachers) so that we can use stimulus money for programming and not for filling in budget gaps.

Pittsburgh Public Schools will receive $43.2 million over 2 years:

• $5.1 for general stimulus dollars for “proven academic programs for students”

• $16.1 for improving raeding and math instruction for children in poverty (Title I)

• $13.6 million for general stimulus dollars • $7.9 million for special education programs and services (IDEA)

• $500,000 for technology integration (Title II-D)

PPS will target spending to maximize achievement and engagement:

• We will focus on literacy

• We will focus on the middle school years

• We will focus on creating extended time for learning

• We will innovate

He stated that literacy in the 3rd grade went from 34% to 64%.

Annette Werner said...

I tried to go to the meeting this morning (April 7 9:30) and no one was there. The library doesn't even open until 10:00. No sign on the door re: a new place/time or anything.