$11.37 Billion in Federal Education Funds To Be Released Early
The United States Department of Education is speeding up stimulus package spending for education. The department this week announced that it's releasing $11.37 billion to states about a month earlier than planned, with funds targeting Title I, IDEA, and Vocational Rehabilitation.
The funds represent the remaining 50 percent of Title I, IDEA, and Vocational Rehabilitation funds allocated through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), the first half of which began rolling out back in April.
In a statement released this week, Vice President Joe Biden said, "The President and I directed the Cabinet to find ways to pick up the pace of Recovery Act implementation, and I applaud this critical step forward by the Department of Education. With over 30,000 Recovery Act projects already approved nationwide and billions in relief flowing to hard-hit families and businesses, we've made a lot of progress in a short time--but we continue to focus every day on finding ways to ramp up our efforts to put Americans back to work and rebuild our economy."
"After accelerating the release of $2.7 billion in Government Services funds earlier this month, we are now announcing another $11.37 billion in Title I, IDEA and VR funds that will be released early to help states and districts expedite stimulus spending," said Arne Duncan, secretary of education, also in a prepared statement. "At the Department, we are doing everything possible to prevent spending decisions from being made in silos and we encourage states and districts to do the same."
The funding was originally expected to be made available Sept. 30; instead, it will now be available Sept. 1. It includes $5 billion in Title I funding, $6.1 billion in IDEA funding, and $270 million in Vocational Rehabilitation funding.