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ERIC Number: EJ919648
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Mar
Pages: 9
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0003-0945
Stimulus Response
Kennedy, Mike
American School & University, v82 n7 p16-24 Mar 2010
Stimulus funds unquestionably have helped many schools keep going through tough times, but for many institutions, the tough times aren't going away anytime soon. That is why, a little more than a year after Congress passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and began allocating billions of dollars in aid across the nation, the so-called stimulus package gets a grade of "incomplete" on its key assignment: Putting a sickly economy back on the road to good health. The U.S. Education Department says the funding provided to schools and universities through the Recovery Act "played a significant role in stabilizing the nation's economy and in staving off a major fiscal crisis in 2009." The stimulus package allocated about $100 billion for education; about $69 billion of that was disbursed in 2009. The bulk of that went not to new programs or projects, but to replenish state coffers depleted by the economic downturn. The education department says more than $40 billion of the stimulus funding has been used to make up for state education shortfalls in fiscal 2009 and 2010. Some of the stimulus money is earmarked for programs designed to step up the drive toward education reform. The Race to the Top Fund has drawn the most attention, in part because its $4.35 billion represents the largest-ever amount of federal discretionary funding for education reform. Another incentive for pursuing education reforms is the Investing in Innovation Fund. The $650 million initiative has been established to support local efforts to start or expand research-based innovative programs that help close the achievement gap and improve outcomes for students. Another Recovery Act program available to higher-education institutions, as well as K-12 systems and other public facilities, is the Build America Bonds initiative. State or local government entities issue the bonds, and the federal government provides a subsidy amounting to about 35 percent of the interest costs. States have been able to make it to 2010 with the help of the stimulus funding. But the Recovery Act has provided funding for only two years, and as budget planners look at what's in store for education funding in 2011, the picture is grim. They call it a "funding cliff," and when the stimulus program reaches the end, schools and universities fear they will go over the edge and send their finances into precipitous declines. Unless the economy begins to recover more quickly or more funding is forthcoming from the federal government, schools and universities will be facing painful budget decisions for 2010-2011.
Penton Media Inc. American School & University, P.O. Box 2100, Skokie, IL 60076-7800. Tel: 866-505-7173; Fax: 847-763-9682; e-mail: americanschooluniversity@pbinews.com; Web site: http://asumag.com
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: American Recovery and Reinvestment Act 2009; Race to the Top