Rahall Announces Release Of $44B Funding For States Education

Press Release

Date: April 2, 2009
Issues: Education

Rahall Announces Release Of $44B Funding For States Education

U.S. Representative Nick J. Rahall (D-W.Va.), today announced that $44 billion for states and schools has been released to the Department of Education under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009. This funding will lay the foundation for a generation of education reform and help save hundreds of thousands of teaching jobs at risk of state and local budget cuts.

“Investing in education for our children is critically important to our Nation's future,” said Rahall. “This funding will provide fiscal relief to the States to prevent tax increases and cutbacks in critical education and other services.”

Today's announcement includes applications and guidelines for $32.6 billion under the State Stabilization Fund, representing two-thirds of the total dollars in the Fund. This includes $26.6 billion to save jobs and improve K-12 and higher education and a separate $6 billion in a Government Services Fund to pay for education, public safety or other government services.

Funds in the first round will be released within two weeks of an application's approval. A second round of stabilization funds will be released later in the year. A third round of funding, the “Race to the Top” competitive grant program, will reward states that have made the most progress on reforms.

“The monies we commit to education must have measures for success and work to improve our classrooms. Every state is being challenged in these economic times, and particularly in regions like southern West Virginia, but we must push harder and do as much as we can for our children to ensure their success,” Rahall explained.

In addition to the stabilization funds, $11.4 billion is available immediately under the Title I, IDEA Vocational Rehabilitation and Independent Living programs. Title I programs serve schools with large concentrations of low-income students. IDEA funds serve students with disabilities. A second round of Title I and IDEA funds will be available later in the year.

“Our children and grandchildren are our future, and every day their teachers and schools take responsibility in shaping that future. When Congress made education a top priority in the Recovery and Reinvestment Act, it meant for every dollar we put on the line must do as much as possible for our children in return,” said Rahall.

To receive State Stabilization Funds, states must also meet maintenance-of-effort requirements of the law by showing that 2009 state education budgets at least meet 2006 state education budget levels. If they cannot meet the maintenance-of-effort requirements, states can receive a waiver if they can show that their education budgets are not being disproportionally reduced.