U. S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan today announced that more than $297 million is now available for Arkansas 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. Arkansas will be eligible to apply for another $146 million this fall. Today's funding is being made available per Arkansas's successful completion of Part 1 of the State Stabilization Application, which was made available on April 1st.
"The $297 million Arkansas 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. Arkansas can now utilize these funds to save jobs and lay the groundwork for a generation of education reform."
To date, Arkansas has received more than $120 million in education stimulus funds—representing a combination of funding for Title I, IDEA, Vocational Rehabilitation Grants and Independent Living Grants. On April 1st, Arkansas received $55.5 million in Title I funding and $61 million in IDEA funding. This represents 50 percent of the Title I and IDEA funding Arkansas is eligible for in total. On April 1, Arkansas also received $3 million in Vocational Rehab funds and more than $596,000 in Independent Living funds.
In order to receive today's funds, Arkansas 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.
Arkansas 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 Arkansas and other state applications for initial funding under the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund Program at http://www.ed.gov/programs/statestabilization/resources.html.