|Education Funding in the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act
Recovery & Reinvestment Report #3 April 24, 2009 (revised*)
Maine's Stabilization Funds Application
Governor John Baldacci filed Maine's application under
the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act for State Fiscal Stabilization
Funds (stabilization funds) to the U.S. Department of Education (USDE) on April
10, after the Maine Department of Education and other agencies compiled the
necessary information. The application has already had an initial review, and
USDE has now held two follow-up conversations with Department staff, requesting
revisions and additional information. We anticipate approval in a matter of
days, and the initial funds - $27.8 million to restore the curtailments made
earlier this school year - will flow to school systems in May.
Funds Spreadsheets Posted
The Department has posted the
School Administrative Unit allocations for the ARRA funds in three categories -
State Fiscal Stabilization Funds, Title I, and IDEA - on the Department's Recovery web page.
Projections and the "Funding Cliff"|
Among the various funds available
for K-12 education in the Recovery package is $129* million of stabilization
funds that will flow through the Department to school systems. All of the money
will be funneled to local schools to make up for the reductions in state funds
that have been anticipated. The first $27 million will flow in the current
fiscal year, probably in May (see above). Another $43 million was planned for
the 2009-10 school year, and $59* million in the 2010-11 school year.
However, revenues continue to
drop as a result of the current economic situation. We will know more after the
Revenue Forecasting Commission meets in early May to make its projections. The
Governor and the Legislature's Appropriations Committee are expected to make
adjustments to the pending two-year budget as a result, and those adjustments
could include reductions to state aid to education.
Our first priority will be to
protect funding for the coming school year (2009-10). That means we may put
more money into the coming school year at the expense of the following year.
Or, in other words, the "funding cliff" that was anticipated in 2011-12 could
come a year earlier (in 2010-11.)
These are extremely difficult
economic times, with very difficult choices for us in the days ahead. Commissioner
Gendron will be reaching out to our partner organizations to jointly sponsor an
event where we can collaborate on strategies for budgeting in difficult economic
broadcast of this report, we have received further clarification and guidance
from the USDE on how to calculate the proportional distribution of Stabilization
funds between K-12 education and higher education. Based on this guidance, K-12
will receive $129 milllion over the three years, approx. $6 mill less than initially calculated;
those funds will be added to the allocation for higher education.)
Funds and the Development of Early Childhood Public Preschool Programs|
The American Recovery &
Reinvestment Act (ARRA) places a strong emphasis on early childhood programs,
encourages their development/expansion, and allows flexibility in the use of
Recovery funds to encourage early childhood programs.
School systems that are
considering development of early childhood public preschool programs have been
invited to a conference on May 4 where they will have an opportunity to:
information on the conference, see Informational Letter 94, sent April 22.
Develop an understanding of the national perspective on
early childhood education initiatives;
models of public preschool delivery;
Review ARRA specific information about funds that can
be used for the development of early childhood programs;
Review the application process for implementation of
public preschool programs;
Examine collaboration models at both the national and
local levels; and
Learn about the Maine Department of Education's plans
to facilitate and support this work through collaboration coaches.
Guidance from the U.S.
Department of Education|
The U.S. Department of Education
has posted new guidance on its website regarding funds for:
These and other guidance
materials can be found on the USDE Recovery web site. They are also linked from the Maine Department of Education Recovery web site.
Funds for Laptops |
State Fiscal Stabilization Funds under
ARRA, as well as some Title I (in "Schoolwide" schools), Title IID,
IDEA and other federal funds may be used to help pay for part of the local
share of the cost to bring laptops to high school students. The Legislature is
currently considering a proposal that would give Commissioner Gendron authority
to sign a contract with Apple to expand the laptops from grades 7 and 8 to all
high school students at an extremely favorable rate.
The deal would realize the
long-standing goal of deploying personal computing opportunities to all
students in grades 7 through 12, including the laptop itself, as well as
significant research, simulation and other learning opportunities, professional
development for teachers, and many other supports. In a survey of high schools
last week, almost half said they will participate, another 40 percent said they
are continuing to investigate and work with their school boards, and 12 percent
said they would not participate at this time.
Information on what federal funds
can be used to support the laptops can be found in the Recovery Q&A.
The Department continues to reach
out and share information in as many venues as possible. Recent and pending
- Kennebec Valley and Western Maine Curriculum Coordinators, David
Connerty-Marin, April 9
- Maine Association of Directors of Special Education (MADSEC), Jaci
Holmes, April 16
This presentation was recorded as an online webinar that will be accessible from the Recovery web site in the next few days. Jaci and David both presented the USDE PowerPoint presentation
- Title I Coordinators, Rachelle Tome, May 7
Rachelle will present a modified PowerPoint presentation, which will be made
available on the Recovery website.
for Recovery IDEA Funds is Ready and Online|
Separate from the regular IDEA
funds available each year, the ARRA includes additional IDEA funds for school
systems. The Maine Department of Education has posted a web-based application form
for these funds. School systems have been informed about how to access the web
application. The application for the regular 2009-10 IDEA funds (those not
associated with ARRA) will be available after USDE announces the regular grant
It is important to remember that
there are strict reporting requirements on the use of all Recovery (ARRA) funds
and that school systems will have to report separately on the use of regular IDEA,
Title I, etc. funds and Recovery IDEA, Title I, etc. funds.
The application for ARRA Title I
funds is in the works.