Thursday, February 12, 2009

Federal Stimulus Package

Conferees have reached agreement on a final economic recovery package but final details have not yet been released. Reports indicate that the $789 billion package includes significant investments in education – a direct result of your intensive advocacy over the past few weeks.

Initial details of the package have been provided by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office although no official bill language has been released. According to the Speaker’s summary, key elements of the package include:

$53.6 billion State Fiscal Stabilization Fund, including $40.6 billion to local school districts using existing funding formulas, which can be used for preventing cutbacks, preventing layoffs, school modernization, or other purposes;

$13 billion for Title I grants;

$12.2 billion for IDEA (Special Education);

Increase in maximum Pell Grant by $500, for maximum of $5,300 in 2009 and $5,500 in 2010;

New bond-financing program for school construction, rehabilitation, and repair - reportedly close to $20 billion;

One-time payment for retirees: $250.