The word’s not official yet, but here are some preliminary numbers on education aid in the U.S. Senate-House agreement on the economic stimulus package. Sounds like final details are still being hammered out.
The agreement would provide $53.6 billion for the state fiscal stabilization fund, including $40.6 billion to local school districts using existing funding formulas, which can be used for averting layoffs and programmatic cutbacks, and to pay for school modernization. The fund also includes $5 billion for incentive grants to be allocated by the Secretary of Education; and $8 billion to states’ high--priority needs, which may include education.
The agreement would provide $1.1 billion for Early Head Start and $1 billion for Head Start, plus $2 billion for the Child Care Development Block Grant.
It would also provide $13 billion for Title I programs for disadvantaged students and $12.2 billion for grants for special education.
And, on the higher education front, the bill would boost the maximum Pell Grant to college students by $500, for a maximum of $5,350 in 2009 and $5,550 in 2010.
More when we have it!
UPDATE: From a preliminary synopsis of the compromise sent out last night by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office, new school bonding provisions were also included. So was $7 billion to expand broadband to rural communities, which could be a big help to rural schools. In addition to the Pell Grant expansion, the bill also increases the higher education tax credit to a maximum $2,500 and adds $200 million to work-study programs.
And finally, the compromise includes some accountability language, including a requirement that the public be given notice—on the Internet—of how the stimulus money is being spent. Disclosure information must include what’s being funded, the purpose, the total cost, and why recovery dollars should be used. Governors, mayors, or others making funding decisions must personally certify that the investment has been fully vetted and is an appropriate use of taxpayer dollars.
The $25 million fund for charter school facilities is not included.
UPDATE 2: The House will vote on the stimulus package tomorrow.
UPDATE 3: The compromise agreement includes $250 million for state data systems, $100 million for teacher quality state grants, and $200 million for the Teacher Incentive Fund. It also has $650 million for education technology, which is less than the $1 billion provided in both the House and Senate bills. The $13 billion for Title I money includes $3 billion for school improvement grants, according to education lobbyists.
UPDATE 4: The deal includes $25 billion in school construction bonds, which some estimates say is enough to pay for modernizing 10,000 schools.