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ERIC Number: ED512265
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010-May
Pages: 102
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Investing Wisely and Quickly: Use of ARRA Funds in America's Great City Schools
Naik, Manish; Yorkman, Michell; Casserly, Michael
Council of the Great City Schools
President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (the Recovery Act or ARRA) into law on February 17, 2009. This federal stimulus package provided an unprecedented infusion of new education aid for the nation's schools--more than $100 billion. To determine how the unprecedented federal infusion of education funding was being used in the nation's major city school systems, the Council of the Great City Schools sent four surveys to each of the organization's 65-member city school systems in the fall of 2009. The surveys asked districts for information about the stimulus funding available to them under the Recovery Act--State Fiscal Stabilization Fund, Title I, IDEA, and School Construction Bonds--as well as budget and revenue status. Forty big city school districts completed all four surveys for a total response rate of 61.5 percent. The 40 cities responding to all four surveys have a total enrollment of 5,451,065 students, employ some 629,811 individuals--including 322,734 full-time equivalent (FTE) teachers, and serve 8,612 schools. Approximately 60 percent of the students in these districts are eligible for a federal free or reduced price lunch; 15 percent are English language learners; and 12 percent are students with disabilities. About 35 percent of the students are African American; 36 percent are Hispanic; 20 percent are white; and 7 percent are Asian American, Native American, Alaskan Native, or other. The results of the survey show a mix of benefits for urban schools and schoolchildren from the funds appropriated under the Recovery Act. The most tangible benefit for schools and children was the number of jobs provided under ARRA--some 50,000 FTE positions in the 40 responding cities--that kept class sizes from rising further, provided additional coaching and professional development for teachers and staff, and expanded schools capacity to provide specialized programs for poor and disabled students. In all, tens of thousands of critical education jobs, including teachers, guidance counselors, school nurses, instructional coaches, and other support personnel--were paid for with the ARRA funds that went to these high-poverty urban schools. But in addition to jobs, the districts also spent considerable amounts on materials, technology, equipment, and the like. The three main funding streams under ARRA--the State Fiscal Stabilization Funds, Title I, and IDEA--also gave urban school districts a major opportunity to undertake key reforms in a variety of areas. Special education funding enabled districts to develop or expand Response to Intervention (RTI) efforts, implement positive behavior supports, and purchase assistive technology devices. Funding under Title I is supporting coaching and teacher mentoring, school leadership academies, performance management systems, early childhood projects, and extended-learning-time programs. ARRA has also allowed districts to boost much-needed efforts in urban high schools through new funding for eligible Title I schools, high school transition assistance, college and career coaching, early dropout warning systems, and credit recovery programs. (Contains 15 exhibits and 3 footnotes.)
Council of the Great City Schools. 1301 Pennsylvania Avenue NW Suite 702, Washington, DC 20004. Tel: 202-393-2427; Fax: 202-393-2400; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
Authoring Institution: Council of the Great City Schools
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Individuals with Disabilities Education Act