Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Latest Info on Federal Economic Stimulus

The first round of stimulus dollars went to states this week, making available half of the money for special education and other federal programs. Michigan is estimated to receive a total of $800 million in funding for Title I and special education.

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan echoes President Obama’s intentions that stimulus money is to be used to save school employees’ jobs. He will withhold future installments of the stimulus money from anyone who defies Obama’s wishes.
State Fiscal Stabilization funds will be released in three installments: the first and second to save jobs and improve K-12 and higher education; in the third round of funding called Race to the Top grants, states that have made the most progress on reforms will be rewarded. Michigan is expected to receive a total of $1.5 billion in stabilization funding.

According to the Michigan Department of Education, Michigan plans to apply for those funds.

To ensure accountability and transparency in the use of these funds, recipients must report the number of education jobs that are saved. With so many school districts predicting layoffs, we must be vigilant to make sure funds are used to save as many school employee jobs as possible.

As education advocates, we must make sure school districts are investing the money in children and using these dollars to improve student achievement. Investing money in teachers directly impacts student achievement.

According to Senator Debbie Stabenow, this money makes resources available to keep teachers in the classroom, provide assistance to students with special needs and keep schools safe.

This money means students will receive the education necessary for the jobs Michigan needs.