U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan today announced that $434 million is now available for Puerto Rico 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. Puerto Rico will be eligible to apply for another $214 million this fall. Today's funding is being made available per Puerto Rico's successful completion of Part 1 of the State Stabilization Application, which was made available on April 1st.
"The $434 million Puerto Rico 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. Puerto Rico can now utilize these funds to save jobs and lay the groundwork for a generation of education reform."
To date, Puerto Rico has received $259 million in education stimulus fundsrepresenting a combination of funding for Title I, IDEA, Vocational Rehabilitation Grants and Independent Living Grants. On April 1st, Puerto Rico received more than $193 million in Title I funding and $59 million in IDEA funding. This represents 50% of the Title I and IDEA funding Puerto Rico is eligible for in total. On April 1st, Puerto Rico also received more than $6 million in Vocational Rehab funds and $713 thousand in Independent Living funds.
In order to receive today's funds, Puerto Rico 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.
Puerto Rico 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 Puerto Rico and other state applications for initial funding under the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund Program at http://www.ed.gov/programs/statestabilization/resources.html.