In Historic Package, Hefty New Funding For Pre-K, Beyond
The $787 billion economic-stimulus package signed into law Feb. 17 by President Barack Obama makes some $115 billion in aid available for precollegiate and higher education. Formally the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, it will funnel about $100 billion to states and school districts, about half of it through existing federal education funding formulas.
The largest single element is a $53.6 billion state fiscal-stabilization fund, much of which is intended to help avoid or reverse layoffs and make up for budget cuts in education and other programs. School modernization and repairs are an allowed—but not guaranteed—use of stabilization funds.
The stabilization money has strings attached. States will have to follow strict “maintenance of effort” rules and keep up their own education funding commitments. After backfilling for layoffs or budget cuts to K-12 and higher education, states will distribute any remaining money to school districts, using the Title I formula.
Most of the aid will flow through the U.S. Department of Education, including a $5 billion discretionary fund to be administered by the education secretary. Some aid will be administered by other agencies, such as the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which oversees Head Start.
Vol. 28, Issue 22, Page 27