The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) will provide enormous opportunities to improve the lives of infants, children, and youth nationwide. This historic legislation includes more than $100 billion in education funding, plus additional billions for school modernization.
The ARRA funds will provide new opportunities for states and school districts in nearly every realm of education, including school renovation, special education, early childhood, youth development, and financial aid to college students in need. Other priorities — such as those focused on health care, creating new jobs, and tax cuts — also hold the promise of improving the condition of children, particularly those least well-served through the nation's current systems of support.
"President Obama's address to Congress included an encouraging commitment to the well-being and education of the nation's children and youth, and an emerging vision of what the future might hold for our kids — from infancy through higher education," says WestEd CEO Glen Harvey. "This is an exciting time."
On March 7, 2009, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced that the Department will distribute $44 billion in stimulus funds in 30 to 45 days. Forty-nine billion more will be available within six months. The first round of funding will help avert hundreds of thousands of estimated teacher layoffs in schools and school districts while driving crucial education improvements, reforms, and results for students.
For more information on ARRA and/or guidance on how districts and states can best use this unprecedented funding to build capacity and advance education reform, check the U.S. Department of Education ARRA web page for a list of email contacts to submit funding questions.
Stimulus Allocation Breakdown (source: U.S. Department of Education)
- $77 billion in direct funding for education
- $40 billion - State stabilization funds
- $13 billion - Title I
- $12 billion - Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
- $5 billion - Incentive grants
- $5 billion - Early childhood
- $2 billion - Other (e.g. pay for performance, data systems, teacher quality investments, technology grants)
- $30.8 billion for college affordability
- (up to) $33.6 billion for additional school modernization
Learn More About ARRA
- ARRA website
- U.S. Department of Education ARRA web page
- Principles and strategy guiding distribution and implementation of ARRA education funds
- Using ARRA funds to drive school reform and improvement
- Ideas from the Field on Using ARRA Funds to Advance Education Improvement and Reform
- Helpful ED and ED-funded Publications and Resources
- State fiscal stabilization fund
- National Governors Association ARRA Resource Center
- National School Boards Association Economic Stimulus Resource Center
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
- U.S. Government Accountability Office's Oversight of the Recovery Act
Using ARRA Funds Wisely: Evidence-Based Resources
"Race to the Top": National Competition Among States
The U.S. Department of Education will conduct a national competition among states for a $4.35 billion "Race to the Top" incentive program designed to push states to improve education quality and results. This fund will help drive substantial gains in student achievement by supporting states that make dramatic progress on four reform goals outlined in the ARRA.The Education Commission of the States released four Briefing Memos that highlight promising state approaches aimed at achieving each of the four reform goals:
Goal 1: Making progress toward rigorous college- and career-ready standards and high-quality assessments that are valid and reliable for all students, including English learners and students with disabilities.
Goal 2: Establishing pre-K to college and career data systems that track progress and foster continuous improvement.
Goal 3: Making improvements in teacher effectiveness and in the equitable distribution of qualified teachers for all students, particularly students who are most in need.
Goal 4: Providing intensive support and effective interventions for the lowest-performing schools.
A short overview document provides quick and easy access to legislation and other state sources highlighted in the four Briefing Memos above.