Summary of Teacher Provisions in Stimulus

By Stephen Sawchuk — January 15, 2009 1 min read
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Here’s a rundown of teacher-related funding in the House’s stimulus package:

$13 billion each for Title I and IDEA grants. Much of that money would support the hiring of teachers and paraprofessionals and the provision of professional development.

$100 million for the Teacher Quality Enhancement Grants (Title II of the Higher Education Act). This would be a big win for teachers’ colleges, which have seen this grant dwindle steadily down over the years. It could be used in support of partnerships to improve teacher education, including the establishment of residency programs.

$100 million for the National Science Foundation to support the Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship program, which helps prospective science, technology, engineering, and math teachers through school ($60 million) and for the Math-Science Partnerships program ($40 million.)

$200 million to establish a performance-pay program. Per my earlier post, it would indeed be funneled through the Teacher Incentive Fund. Although the national teachers’ unions are likely to be happy about all the Title I funding, this would be a bitter pill to swallow. They have never been a huge fan of TIF, and the National Education Association downright opposed its creation and continued funding. The bill, which was worked out with the Obama administration, is a strong sign that Democrats aren’t going to back off performance-pay.

Our green-eyeshade readers may have noted an interesting requirement in the package directing the Institute of Education Sciences to use a randomized controlled methodology to assess the impact of the performance-pay funding. Someone must have gotten the memo that not all of the Education Department’s TIF grantees are using experimental techniques to evaluate their programs, as I reported here.

Another interesting note: The bill would create a specific fund to stabilize state education costs. To receive these funds, higher ed must demonstrate that it is supporting efforts in the state to address inequities in the distribution of qualified, experienced, and in-field teachers between high-and low-poverty schools.

Of course, this is all contingent on congressional approval. Although it’s likely to pass in some fashion, the Senate’s version is said to be somewhat different.

See the House Appropriations Committee Web site for the bill and summary.

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Teacher Beat blog.