U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan today announced that $111 million is now available for Rhode Island 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. Rhode Island will be eligible to apply for another $54 million this fall. Today's funding is being made available per Rhode Island's successful completion of Part 1 of the State Stabilization Application, which was made available on April 1.
"The $111 million Rhode Island will receive today is part of the single largest boost in education funding in recent history," said Duncan. "The president's leadership and support from Congress have made this historic investment possible. Rhode Island can now utilize these funds to save jobs and lay the groundwork for a generation of education reform."
To date, Rhode Island has received $43 million in education stimulus fundsrepresenting a combination of funding for Title I, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Vocational Rehabilitation Grants and Independent Living Grants. On April 1, Rhode Island received $18 million in Title I funding and $24 million in IDEA funding. This represents 50 percent of the Title I and IDEA funding Rhode Island is eligible for in total. On April 1, Rhode Island also received more than $867,000 in Vocational Rehab funds and $267,000 in Independent Living funds.
In order to receive today's funds, Rhode Island provided assurances that it will collect, publish, analyze and act on basic information regarding the quality of classroom teachers, annual student improvements, college readiness, the effectiveness of state standards and assessments, progress on removing charter caps, and interventions in turning around underperforming schools.
Rhode Island is also required by the Department of Education to report the number of jobs saved through Recovery Act funding, the amount of state and local tax increases averted, and how funds are used.
See Rhode Island and other state applications for initial funding under the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund Program at http://www.ed.gov/programs/statestabilization/resources.html.