Updates: American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA)

April 1, 2009 Update:

Memo to the Field, from Johanna Duncan-Poitier, Senior Deputy Commissioner of Education - P-16, on "The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009"

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From: Johanna Duncan-Poitier
Date: April 1, 2009
Subject: The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009

This is another quick update related to State funding for education and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA).  Consistent with the information I shared with you yesterday, the United States Education Department (USED) issued additional guidance and timelines today for the release of ARRA funds on its Web site at: http://www.ed.gov/policy/gen/leg/recovery/index.html.

The USED provides guidance in following areas:

  • State Fiscal Stabilization Fund;
  • Title I, Part A Recovery Funds for Grants to Local Educational Agencies;
  • Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Part B;
  • Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Part C;
  • Vocational Rehabilitation State Grants; and
  • Independent Living Services

The guidelines released today require commitments from states that they will collect, publish, analyze and act on basic information regarding the quality of classroom teachers, annual student improvements, college readiness, the effectiveness of state standards and assessments, progress on removing charter caps, and interventions in turning around underperforming schools. Specifically, the law requires states to show:

  • Improvements in teacher effectiveness and ensuring all schools have highly qualified teachers;
  • Progress toward college and career-ready standards and rigorous assessments that will improve both teaching and learning;
  • Improvements in achievement in low-performing schools, by providing intensive support and effective interventions in those schools; and
  • That they can gather information to improve student learning, teacher performance, and college and career-readiness through enhanced data systems that track progress.

States also will have to report the number of jobs saved through Recovery Act funding, the amount of state and local tax increases averted, and how funds are used.

Education Secretary Duncan outlined proposed measurements that states would have to use to report on their progress toward the education reforms spelled out in the law. USED will release these metrics for public comment in the Federal Register in April and then issue a final version.

Secretary Duncan also informed states that $5 billion in competitive grants, called the “Race to the Top” fund, will be awarded to states that are most aggressively pursuing reforms. To ensure that ARRA funds are driving classroom improvements, states competing for Race to the Top funds will be judged on how well they are using the first round of stabilization and Title I funds to advance education reforms. We expect to have guidance on the “Race to the Top” competitive grant program in the near future.

Lastly, if the state budget is passed this week, we will hold a Webcast on Monday, April 6 at 11:00 a.m. to provide you with information to use for planning purposes.  The Webcast will be accessible through the State Education Department’s Web site – www.nysed.gov.  It will be archived for later viewing for those who are not able to access it live.

I hope this information is helpful. I will continue to provide periodic updates and share final allocations and additional information as it becomes available.        

Thank you.

Last Updated: February 6, 2014