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Stimulus Saved Jobs, Report Concludes

"What Impact Did Education Stimulus Funds Have on States and School Districts?"

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The federal economic-stimulus program’s $100 billion in education aid largely met its goals of preserving or creating K-12 jobs and jump-starting education redesign efforts at the state level, according to a study from the Center on Education Policy.

Surveys of state and local officials by the Washington-based research organization looked at the impact of the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which poured emergency aid into the states to ease the effects of the Great Recession. The arra was followed in 2010 by the $10 billion Education Jobs Fund.

The surveys showed that 52 percent of districts with funding cuts offset them through the $48.5 billion State Fiscal Stabilization Fund, the part of the stimulus most closely focused on saving jobs and preventing budget cuts. In another 45 percent of those districts, the federal money plugged at least some budget holes.

Most districts—69 percent—used State Fiscal Stabilization Fund money to save or create jobs. The stimulus also provided new, one-time money for the two main federal formula programs—Title I grants for disadvantaged students and special education state grants. Districts used some of that money to save jobs, too, the CEP found.

But that didn’t mean there were no layoffs. During the 2010-11 school year, about 85 percent of districts with budget decreases cut staff positions, including teaching jobs, the study says.

Vol. 31, Issue 37, Page 5

Published in Print: August 8, 2012, as Study: K-12 Stimulus Saved and Created Jobs
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