In the last three months of 2009, the education portion of the federal economic-stimulus program paid for 329,551 school-related jobs, such as teachers, librarians, and counselors, according to the latest reports that states and school districts filed with the U.S. Department of Education.
So far, about $69 billion of the nearly $100 billion in education aid contained in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act has been awarded by the department to states. The primary goal of the stimulus package, particularly the $48.6 billion State Fiscal Stabilization Fund, was to prevent layoffs, create jobs, and otherwise spur the languishing economy.
Not surprisingly, the most education jobs were created or saved in the most-populous states: California, Florida, and New York, which accounted for one-third of the total number of jobs.
The latest reports, covering October through December, mirrored the first stimulus reports that came out earlier last year, when 325,000 education-related jobs were reported to have been saved or created.
It’s difficult to compare the two jobs numbers, however, because federal officials changed how states and local grant recipients calculate the number of jobs saved and created.
The initial reporting requirement involved a complicated formula that required recipients to distinguish between a job saved and one created, and not necessarily to count jobs paid for by stimulus money that would have existed even without the new aid. The new formula asks recipients simply to calculate the number of jobs, based on hours worked, that were paid for with stimulus money.
A version of this article appeared in the February 10, 2010 edition of Education Week as Report Calculates Stimulus Saved 329,000 School Jobs Last Fall