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Federal Education Programs » Economic Stimulus Package/ARRA

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What Impact Did Education Stimulus Funds Have on States and School Districts?

Author(s): Diane Stark Rentner, Alexandra Usher
Published: July 18, 2012

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, or ARRA, provided approximately $100 billion in extra federal funding for education fiscal year 2009.  This money, intended to help stabilize and support public education during the economic recession, was used to compensate for state budget shortfalls and prevent the loss of educator jobs and to fund or supplement programs like Race to the Top, Title I and IDEA. This summary report synthesizes findings from six previous CEP reports examining the effects of the funding, based on survey responses of state and local officials charged with implementing the ARRA and Education Jobs programs. Taking a retrospective look over three years of survey data, this report distills themes and draws conclusions about the overall effects of ARRA on K-12 education.

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Special Reports on School Improvement Grants

Author(s): Jennifer McMurrer
Published: July 11, 2012

This series of three special reports examines implementation of the federal School Improvement Grant (SIG) program. The first special report, Schools with Federal Improvement Grants Face Challenges in Replacing Principals and Teachers, looks at how states, districts, and schools are addressing challenges related to SIG staffing requirements. The second special report, Increased Learning Time Under Stimulus-Funded School Improvement Grants: High Hopes, Varied Implementation, highlights key findings about state, district, and school experiences related to the requirement to increase student learning time in SIG-funded schools. Findings in these first two special reports draw on survey data from 46 responding states and case study research in Idaho, Maryland, and Michigan, published in earlier CEP studies. The third special report, Changing the School Climate is the First Step to Reform in Many Schools with Federal Improvement Grants, examines the positive changes in school climate experienced by six case study schools that received the federal grants in Idaho, Maryland, and Michigan.

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Opportunities and Obstacles: Implementing Stimulus-Funded School Improvement Grants in Maryland, Michigan, and Idaho

Author(s): Caitlin Scott, Jennifer McMurrer, Shelby McIntosh and Kenne Dibner
Published: March 20, 2012

This report examines the implementation of the federal School Improvement Grants (SIG) program by drawing on research conducted in three states, seven school districts, and 11 schools -- including schools that were eligible for but did not receive a SIG award. The study looks at how the federal program requirements are working within the state and local context, the progress made during the first year of the three-year grant implementation, and the different approaches being used to improve student achievement in schools that received SIG funds compared to schools that were eligible for but did not receive grants.

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State Implementation and Perceptions of Title I School Improvement Grants under the Recovery Act: One Year Later

Author(s): Jennifer McMurrer and Shelby McIntosh
Published: March 20, 2012

Based on a winter 2011-12 survey of state directors of the federal Title I program, this report examines the first year of state implementation of the School Improvement Grants (SIG) program.  It focuses on state processes for renewing the SIG awards made for school year 2010-11, state assistance to schools, and general perceptions of the ARRA SIG program requirements. Forty-five states and the District of Columbia participated in the survey.

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After the Stimulus Money Ends: The Status of State K-12 Education Funding and Reforms

Author(s): Diane Stark Rentner and Nancy Kober
Published: February 7, 2012

This report, which is based on a fall 2011 survey of state education agency officials, finds that state spending cuts for K-12 education seemed to have bottomed out in many states, although some states are still strapped for funds.  The report also examines states’ efforts to implement the four school reforms they promised to address in their applications for federal stimulus funds.

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State Education Agency Funding and Staffing in the Education Reform Era

Author(s): Nancy Kober and Diane Stark Rentner
Published: February 7, 2012

This report, which is based on a fall 2011 survey of state education agency officials, finds that state funds for state education agency operations are being cut or level-funded in most states despite an improved outlook for overall education spending at the state level.  To make up for the loss in this operational funding, most state education agencies are reducing their staffing costs.  However, many states are maintaining, and sometimes increasing, state agency staff assigned to school reform efforts.

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Education Budget Cuts Imperil Reform

Author(s): Jack Jennings
Published: June 30, 2011

In this Huffington Post blog, posted on June 30, 2011, Jack Jennings discusses the findings from the CEP report, Strained Schools Face Bleak Future: Districts Foresee Budget Cuts, Teacher Layoffs, and a Slowing of Education Reform Efforts.  He warns that squeezed school budgets may lead to a decline in student achievement because school districts are laying off teachers in order to balance the budget.  Fewer teachers will likely lead to increased class sizes and less attention to individual students.

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Strained Schools Face Bleak Future: Districts Foresee Budget Cuts, Teacher Layoffs, and a Slowing of Education Reform Efforts

Author(s): Nancy Kober, Diane Stark Rentner
Published: June 29, 2011

Drawing on information gathered through a survey of a nationally representative sample of over 450 school districts, this report describes the fiscal condition of school districts for school year 2010-11 and the anticipated condition for school year 2011-12.  The report examines the extent to which federal stimulus and Education Jobs funds made up for district funding shortfalls, and the types of cuts being made to balance district budgets.  In order to compensate for lost funding, districts are cutting staff – including teachers – and services and are slowing the progress on education reform.

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Early State Implementation of Title I School Improvement Grants Under the Recovery Act

Author(s): Jennifer McMurrer, Shelby Dietz, and Diane Stark Rentner
Published: February 23, 2011

This report, based on surveys of state education officials, presents an early look at the states' experiences implementing school improvement grants with funds provided under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The report offers a baseline understanding of how increased funding and new school improvement grant requirements have impacted the number and types of schools served as well as how state education agencies are using these funds to assist schools targeted by the program.

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Changing Tires En Route: Michigan Rolls Out Millions in School Improvement Grants

Author(s): Caitlin Scott and Kenne Dibner
Published: February 23, 2011

This report examines Michigan's early implementation of the Title I school improvement grant funds provided under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. It looks at how many and what type of schools are receiving funding, the school improvement models being implemented, and the type of assistance provided by the state and districts to help improve low-performing schools. The report includes case studies on three SIG-participating schools: Lincoln High School (Van Dyke Public Schools), Romulus Middle School (Romulus Community School District), and Phoenix Multi-Cultural Academy (Detroit Public Schools).

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More To Do, But Less Capacity To Do It: States' Progress In Implementing the Recovery Act Education Reforms

Author(s): Nancy Kober, Diane Stark Rentner
Published: February 17, 2011

This report, based on an October 2010 survey of state education officials, discusses state education budgets, implementation of initiatives to support the four American Recovery and Reinvestment Act reform assurances, state education agency capacity, and Race to the Top.


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School Districts’ Perspectives on the Economic Stimulus Package: School Improvement Grants Present Uncertainty and Opportunity

Author(s): Caitlin Scott and Nancy Kober
Published: August 30, 2010

This report highlights the extent to which school districts have experience with implementing the four federally-mandated school reform models intended to improve the nation’s lowest performing 5% of schools.   Approximately $3 billion was provided under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act for grants to districts to carry out these models.  As of last school year, fewer than 12% of the nation’s school districts had implemented any of the four reform models, and among these districts, there were varying degrees of success with the models.

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School Districts’ Perspectives on the Economic Stimulus Package: Teaching Jobs Saved in 2009-10 But Teacher Layoffs Loom for Next School Year

Author(s): Nancy Kober
Published: July 15, 2010

In the spring of 2010, CEP surveyed a nationally representative sample of school districts to learn about their fiscal situation and how the funds provided under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) have impacted them over the last year. CEP found that the federal funds helped districts save or create teaching jobs and stabilize budgets, but that most districts expected to layoff teachers in the 2010-11 school year. The report also addresses districts’ efforts to carryout ARRA’s four reform areas, district uses of State Fiscal Stabilization Funds and supplemental Title I and IDEA funds, and problems faced by districts in implementing ARRA.

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An Early Look at the Economic Stimulus Package and the Public Schools: Perspectives from State Leaders

Author(s): CEP
Published: December 2, 2009

This report looks at the early efforts of states to implement the elementary and secondary education provisions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The findings are drawn from a survey of officials in state education agencies and governors’ offices in 44 states and the District of Columbia. Key findings concern the financial condition of state education budgets, progress toward meeting the reform assurances, interest in national content standards and the Race to the Top Funds, and requests by the states for financial and regulatory relief. 

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CEP Forum 5 on Rethinking the Federal Role: Economic Stimulus Package

Author(s): CEP
Published: April 30, 2009

On April 30, 2009, CEP convened a forum to discuss the impact of the economic stimulus funds on the federal role in elementary and secondary education. Speakers included Jeff Simering of the Council of the Great City Schools; Mary Kusler of the American Association of School Administrators; Dane Linn of the National Governors Association; Deborah Rigsby of the National School Boards Association; and Gene Wilhoit of the Council of Chief State School Officers. Presenters addressed two questions: how are the education funds in the economic stimulus package now being spent, and will there be any effect on the future federal role in elementary and secondary education as a result of the stimulus package? Below are links to the written and audio transcripts of the meeting.

Audio transcript of this meeting

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The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and the Public Schools

Author(s): Jack Jennings
Published: March 19, 2009

On February 17, 2009, President Obama signed into law the economic stimulus package, known as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). This law provides an unprecedented amount of federal funding for education. This summary describes the key components of the ARRA and discusses some of the implementation issues that are not yet decided.

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Who Gets Title I Funds From the Economic Stimulus Package?

Author(s): Tom Fagan
Published: March 19, 2009

This CEP report examines the Title I funding provided under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

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