On Wednesday, Congress is scheduled to vote on an economic stimulus plan that “will shower school districts, child care centers and university campuses with $150 billion in new federal funds over two years.” The budget of the Department of Education will more than double.
How will your school district benefit? Are the long-term consequences of the stimulus package positive or negative?
Stimulus Plan Will Provide About $150 Billion to Education Over Two Years
The funds will affect nearly every component of the educational system — school construction and renovation, Title I programs, special education, Head Start, and Pell grants for college students.
The No Child Left Behind Act and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) would receive $26 billion in new spending.
This $150 billion does not include the $79 billion in State Stabilization Funds allocated by Congress for FYs 2009 and 2010. Sources: New York Times (1/28/09), Washington Post (1/29/09)
How Much $$ Will Your District Receive?
The Congressional Research Service (CRS) put together a list of projected allocations for each school district from appropriations proposed in the House stimulus bill. To learn how your school district will fare, see the state-by-state breakdowns of the estimated allocations for the school districts in each state.
Pros and Cons: Disagreements about Benefits
According to Education Secretary Arne Duncan, “This is going to avert literally hundreds of thousands of teacher layoffs.”
Representative George Miller, chairman of the House Education Committee, said, “We cannot let education collapse; we have to provide this level of support to schools.”
Many Republicans criticized some proposals as “wasteful spending and an ill-considered expansion of the federal government’s role.”
Education experts across the political spectrum are asking questions:
- how can school districts spend so many new billions so fast?
- will this outpouring of dollars lead to higher student achievement?
- what will happen in two years when the stimulus money ends?
Stimulus Plan Would Provide Flood of Aid to Education by Sam Dillon, NYT, January 27, 2009)
The New America Foundation, a nonprofit, nonpartisan public policy institute that monitors education spending reports that the formula does not effectively allocate the most money to states with the greatest need.
“Stimulus funding does not take into account districts with large special education and English language learner populations. These districts with the socially and academically neediest students will benefit the most from the infusion of additional federal dollars.” First Look at Stimulus Spending.
What do you think? Is this massive infusion of funds to schools a good idea? Will these funds improve educational outcomes? What will happen in 2010 when the funding provisions end?
Note: These data are estimates based on the House stimulus bill. The Senate bill is still under consideration.
I live in Hawaii and in desperate need of some guidance. My daughter is finishing 8th grade and all year I have tried to get her IEP changed. The goals are not measureable. No one gives her support . Nothing has been done really to support her. they state she is at the same level of her peers. In Hawaii, her “peers” are exceptionally low statewide. Peers should be nationwide but the school says I’m wrong. That my daughter does not need her IEP. She has mild auditory processing difficulties and I have not asked for a lot. THey do not consider myself and my husband a part of the team. They recently administered Academic and Cognitive assessments but not by a psychologist…one of the person’s had such a thick accent my daughter had to ask him to spell what he was saying and he didn’t explain anything to her about the assessment. HELP!
I am the “Nevada Watch Dog” for the Stimulus Money here in NV. They have diverted $14 million out of Special Education to other needs and they can legally do it. There are so many “loop holes” in the Stimulus Education part that our Special Needs kids are suffering. It has been like this for years even before the Stimulus Money came about.
What seems true in many areas that are not based on evidence testing, what is really needed is to actually re eval and learn from the facts who is getting their learning needs met, and who is not.
As long as the threat that a child might get the help they will use to achieve academic excellence is what worries the poopooers of education(healthcare,name that administrative system) we are hamstrung by a priority that, hmmm, is as off as racid fish.
Education Department: American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009
Information on education provisions in the law can be found on this page from the US Department of Education. DOE will update the page as additional information becomes available.
If we can get all the dyslexic children back in the school system and take care of them and not cater to them but just understand how they learn. Most are above normal IQ’s ,,, sooooo… would not the scores for the system increase if we could get these above average IQ children back in the system and get them testing to THEIR potential. I think the teachers that think these kids are lazy or do not want to look at them as dyslexic would either be shocked at their scores or they would be so embarrassed they can’t teach everyone the same way they were taught in college. Just a thought, I wanted to share. I have never been a teacher and can only tutor one child at a time.
Stay informed about Schools and the Stimulus
Schools generally strive for excellence in areas other than Special Education. The goal in special education is to achieve the “minimum required by law”.
While special education will be the bait and switch for additional funding, parent advocates will have to be educated to make sure that their child’s funding doesn’t end up on the football field or on district office conference/vacations.
RTI can be a good thing or can be the vehicle for special education funding misuse. It depends on the school district.
Unless there is going to suddenly by accountability for non-compliance of IDEA and ADA laws in our schools, this bill will only strengthen the corruption that we are already experiencing.
This could leave our kids falling short on education with no way to work and pay back this loan that congress is offering them.
Here’s a place to stay informed on the current status of this legislation. CHADD (Children and Adults with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder) has a Legislative Action Center. http://capwiz.com/chadd/issues/
You’ll find detailed up-to-date bill status information here: http://capwiz.com/chadd/issues/bills/?bill=12607216&size=full
I agree that the Economic Stimulus bill is not not intended to achieve full funding of IDEA. I’ve read about massive teacher layoffs around the country. Economic stimulus funds will be used to avert or minimize layoffs. Funds will also be available to modernize schools and other projects.
Last week, New York City officials announced a plan that may lead to laying off 15,000 school employees, mostly teachers
Michael Antonucci, Director of the Education Intelligence Agency, wrote about cities that continue to hire more teachers as student enrollment falls. (“Fewer students divided by more teachers = very costly math“)
From 2001 to 2006, Chicago’s student population declined more than 3%, while the teacher force increased almost 13%.
Between 2001 and 2006, New York City lost 52,458 students and hired 5,647 more teachers.
According to Antonucci, “Revenues for public education are appropriately tied to student enrollment. It doesn’t take an economist, however, to see that shrinking revenues and increasing expenditures are a recipe for future budget deficits and fiscal meltdown …
“Shuttered schools, massive layoffs, early retirement buyouts and other attrition lead to dissatisfaction for everyone involved. It’s hard to tell an angry union rep or an overwrought parent that a laid-off teacher probably should not have been hired in the first place…”
Advocates for kids with disabilities should pay very close attention to the Economic Recovery bills currently being debated in the U.S. Congress. While it looks like a windfall for education, provisions in the Senate bill could allow all new federal funds for both Title I and IDEA to be supplanted by local school districts and used for any activities deemed appropriate…(current IDEA law already allows LEA to supplant up to 50%)
We’ve all advocated for increased IDEA funding for years. However, this “supplemental appropriation” in the Recovery billisn’t the way to accomplish it. These 2-year boosts in IDEA funding (6 billion in 2009, 7 billion in 2010) will not be sustained in the normal annual appropriations process — setting districts on a roller coaster ride that will result in havoc for kids, teachers, and parents.