U. S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan today announced that more than $1.8 billion is now available for Florida 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. Florida will be eligible to apply for another $891 million this fall. Today's funding is being made available per Florida's successful completion of Part 1 of the State Stabilization Application, which was made available on April 1.
"The $1.8 billion Florida 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. Florida can now utilize these funds to save jobs and lay the groundwork for a generation of education reform."
To date, Florida has received more than $599 million in education stimulus fundsrepresenting a combination of funding for Title I, IDEA, Vocational Rehabilitation Grants and Independent Living Grants. On April 1, Florida received more than $245 million in Title I funding and $335 million in IDEA funding. This represents 50 percent of the Title I and IDEA funding Florida is eligible for in total. On April 1, Florida also received $16 million in Vocational Rehab funds and $3 million in Independent Living funds.
In order to receive today's funds, Florida 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.
Florida 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 Florida's and other state applications for initial funding under the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund Program at http://www.ed.gov/programs/statestabilization/resources.html.