Education Secretary Wants ARRA Applications Pronto
The United States Department of Education this week urged states to "act now" to get their applications in for stimulus package funding. Education Secretary Duncan said that states should act as quickly as possible on State Fiscal Stabilization Funds to help move reforms forward and to protect teaching jobs that are at risk.
The State Fiscal Stabilization Fund makes available some $48.6 billion (out of the $100 billion in stimulus package funds earmarked for education), of which $26.6 billion opened up specifically for K-12 schools and universities last month, along with $6 billion for a variety of purposes. Another $11.4 billion was made available last month for Title I, IDEA, Vocational Rehabilitation, and other programs.
"We have an urgent need to reform our schools and prevent teacher layoffs," Duncan said in a statement released Monday. "The Department is turning around applications within nine days on average. States that have not yet applied need to do so now."
So far, according to information released by the department, funds totaling $13 billion have been awarded to 13 states, including California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maine, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nevada, New York, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, and Wisconsin. Puerto Rico and an additional nine states (Tennessee, Rhode Island, Indiana, North Carolina, Washington, Idaho, Massachusetts, Virginia, and Iowa) have applied for funding.
Further information about applications can be found here. Examples of applications that have already been received by the department can be downloaded as PDFs from a special section on the department's Web site here.