First round of federal stimulus dollars available for education

April 1, 2009 at 6:13 pm Leave a comment

UPDATED 4/3/09: Education Week has a great page with news coverage and analysis of the stimulus and schools.

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced today that nearly $50 billion for education will be available to states this week–with strings attached. Duncan made it clear that he wants the money directed to innovative reforms, and some additional funding will be contingent on improvements in key areas.

“Every dollar we spend must advance reforms and improve learning. We are putting real money on the line to challenge every state to push harder and do more for its children,” Duncan said in a statement.

Specifically, the administration calls for states to show that they are:

  • Making improvements in teacher effectiveness and ensuring that all schools have highly qualified teachers;
  • Making progress toward college and career-ready standards and rigorous assessments that will improve both teaching and learning;
  • Improving achievement in low-performing schools, by providing intensive support and effective interventions in schools that need them the most;
  • Gathering information to improve student learning, teacher performance, and college and career-readiness through enhanced data systems that track progress.

Duncan said last week he would “come down like a ton of bricks” on states that do not use the stimulus funds on education reform. The second $50 billion will be distributed later this year, and an additional $5 billion in Race to the Top grant funds will be available to districts and states that aggressively pursue education reform.

Read the Department of Education’s press release
Read The Washington Port’s coverage

Read the transcript of last week’s interview with Arne Duncan

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Entry filed under: Federal education news.

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