U. S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan today announced that more than $81 million is now available for Montana 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. Montana will be eligible to apply for another $40 million this fall. Today's funding is being made available per Montana's successful completion of Part 1 of the State Stabilization Application, which was made available on April 1st.
"The Recovery Act was designed to meet two critical challenges: rescue the economy from the immediate peril it faces and invest in the building blocks of a strong economy," Secretary Duncan explained. "The Recovery Act investments in our students and our schools will have a huge payoff in the years ahead."
"The $81 million Montana 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. Montana can now utilize these funds to save jobs and lay the groundwork for a generation of education reform."
To date, Montana has received $67.5 million in education stimulus funds—representing a combination of funding for Title I, IDEA, Vocational Rehabilitation Grants, Independent Living Grants, Impact Aid and Government Services funds. On April 1st, Montana received more than $17 million in Title I funding and more than $20 million in IDEA funding. This represents 50 percent of the Title I and IDEA funding Montana is eligible for in total. On April 1, Montana also received more than $1 million in Vocational Rehab funds and $257,000 in Independent Living funds. On April 10, Montana received more than $1.5 million in Impact Aid funding.
In order to receive today's funds, Montana 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.
Montana 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 Montana and other state applications for initial funding under the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund Program at http://www.ed.gov/programs/statestabilization/resources.html.