More Than $47 Million in Recovery Funds Now Available for The U.S. Virgin Islands to Save Jobs and Drive Reform

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More Than $47 Million in Recovery Funds Now Available for The U.S. Virgin Islands to Save Jobs and Drive Reform

Application for Part 1 of the U.S. Virgin Islands' State Fiscal Stabilization Funds Approved Today

April 12, 2010

U. S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan today announced that $47,546,406 is now available for the U.S. Virgin Islands 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 teaching jobs at risk of local budget cuts. The U.S. Virgin Islands will be eligible to apply for another $23,418,334 in Phase II. Today's funding is being made available per the U.S. Virgin Islands' successful completion of Part 1 of the State Stabilization Application.

"The Recovery Act was designed to meet two critical challenges: rescue the economy from immediate peril 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 more than $47 million The U.S. Virgin Islands 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. The Virgin Islands can now utilize these funds to save jobs and lay the groundwork for a generation of education reform."

Including today's State Fiscal Stabilization Fund (SFSF) Phase I award, the U.S. Virgin Islands has received $56,409,858 million in education stimulus funds—representing a combination of funding for the SFSF, Title I, School Improvement Grants, IDEA, Education Technology Grants, Pell Grants and Federal Work Study funding. Last April, the U.S. Virgin Islands received $4,721,109 million in Title I funding and $352,124 in IDEA funding. The U.S. Virgin Islands also received $1,363,339 in School Improvement Grants and $566,131 in Education Technology Grants.

$1,844,009 million in Pell Grants has been awarded to students attending schools in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Pell Grants are awarded based on student applications, not by state. The Recovery Act provides $17.1 billion in additional funds for students across the country in need of Pell Grants. The Federal Pell Grant Program provides need-based grants to low-income undergraduate and certain postbaccalaureate students to promote access to postsecondary education. Students may use their grants at any one of approximately 5,400 participating postsecondary institutions. The additional funding allowed the Department of Education to raise the maximum Pell award from $4,731 to $5,350. Work Study funds totaling more than $16,739 have been awarded to students attending schools in the U.S. Virgin Islands. The Recovery Act provides an additional $200 million to the Work-Study program, providing colleges and universities with additional funding to provide jobs to students to help with their college and living expenses.

In order to receive today's funds, the U.S. Virgin Islands 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.

The U.S. Virgin Islands 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 The U.S. Virgin Islands and other state applications for initial funding under the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund Program at