State Fiscal Stabilization Fund — Education Stabilization Fund
The U.S. Department of Education (USDOE) moved quickly to begin distributing $32.5 billion worth of funds to help states restore their educational budgets to pre-recession levels. The department began distributing this funding as soon as it could approve a state’s application. Each state’s allocation is determined by a formula based on the size of the state's overall population, and the population between the ages of 5 and 24.
About four-fifths of the total is designated for public pre-kindergarten, K-12 and higher education programs, and must be used by states to bring their education budgets for fiscal 2009, 2010 and 2011 back up to the level of fiscal 2008 or 2009, whichever was higher. The funds are allocated to school districts based on the state’s standard funding formulas.
Schools can generally use the funds for any activity that is permissible under the No Child Left Behind Act, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), the Adult Education and Family Literacy Act or the Perkins Career and Technical Education Act.
Funds can also be used for modernization, renovation and repair of public school facilities, including work consistent with a green-building rating system, as long as it is permissible under state law. Such work must comply with Stimulus Act requirements relating to the use of American iron, steel and manufactured goods. Funds may also be used for new construction, although the federal government does not encourage this.
The funds cannot be used for payment of:
- “Maintenance costs”
- Stadiums or facilities used primarily for athletic contests, exhibitions or events at which admission is charged
- Purchase or upgrade of vehicles
- Improvement of central office administration or logistical support facilities
- Modernization and repair activities that are not consistent with state law
Among the examples cited by USDOE as permissible uses of funds, are the following technology-related projects:
- Establishing and improving data systems and using data to improve student performance
- Developing and providing professional development on the use of data to improve instruction
- Providing intensive training for teachers in low-performing schools, using new curriculum and assessment data to improve instruction
- Using high-quality, online courses as supplemental learning materials to help secondary students meet core content requirements
The funds must be obligated by September 30, 2011.
Click here for more information on this funding source.
For more detailed guidance, click here.
Click here to review the details of your state’s application.
Click here for a map that will link to your state’s economic recovery website. This will help you track your state’s plans and timetables.
The second, and final, allocation of the Education Stabilization Fund, representing about one-third of the total, will be made after states complete another application, certifying that they can report a range of data about their educational systems and that they have made progress in implementing the core elements of a data system that can monitor students from pre-school through college. The department will make more specific details available in the future.