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ERIC Number: ED519238
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 28
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Conflicting Missions and Unclear Results: Lessons from the Education Stimulus Funds
Mead, Sara; Vaishnav, Anand; Porter, William; Rotherham, Andrew J.
Bellwether Education Partners
On February 17, 2009, President Barack Obama signed into law the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), commonly known as the "stimulus." Enacted in the midst of a deep recession brought on by global financial collapse, ARRA provided more than $800 billion in federal spending and tax cuts intended to stimulate the economy while laying the roots of future long-term growth. A substantial portion of that funding, more than $100 billion, was dedicated to education. This unprecedented one-time spending boost is larger than the entire annual budget of the U.S. Department of Education. Recognizing that the unprecedented flow of ARRA funding into education created both potential pitfalls and opportunities, the William & Flora Hewlett Foundation supported the efforts of 10 national and state-based organizations to disseminate information and analysis on ARRA and help states and local school districts make good use of ARRA funds. Half of the grantees--the Center on Education Policy, the Council of the Great City Schools (CGCS), Editorial Projects in Education, the New American Foundation, and the University of Washington's Center on Reinventing Public Education--have focused on helping to document exactly how ARRA funds have been distributed to and used by states and districts. The other grantees--the American Institutes for Research (AIR), the Aspen Institute, the California County Superintendents Educational Services Association (CCSESA), Education Resource Strategies (ERS), and the Policy Innovators in Education Network--have focused on providing direct assistance to states and districts in making choices about the use of ARRA funds. These organizations have acquired a deep and unique understanding of the impacts of ARRA on the ground, both in school systems that received extra help and counsel to use ARRA funds wisely and in those that did not. This paper draws on and synthesizes this understanding to independently identify key themes and lessons emerging from state and district experiences with ARRA. Through an analysis of Hewlett grantees' publications and work as well as interviews with both Hewlett grantees and district leaders, the authors of this paper have identified these emerging lessons and their broader implications for education policy and practice. Although the work of the Hewlett grantees plays a key role in informing this analysis, the conclusions presented here are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily represent the views of the Hewlett Foundation or its grantees. (Contains 1 table, 2 figures and 25 endnotes.)
Bellwether Education Partners. e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
Authoring Institution: Bellwether Education Partners
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: American Recovery and Reinvestment Act 2009