Some district-by-district estimates of stimulus $$$ now available

Monday, February 16th, 2009 at 6:52 am by

The U.S. House of Representatives Education and Labor Committee has made available district-by-district estimates of some of the funds in the federal stimulus bill passed by Congresss on Friday.

Estimates are available for Title I and IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act).  The sums are two year totals.  Bill language provides that half the funds will not be available until July 1, 2010.

These are preliminary estimates, not official allocations.

We will be seeking clarifications of maintenance of effort requirements and other restrictions on how the money may be used.

The stimulus bill will provide other funds to New York schools.  Potentially the most helpful will be the “state stabilization fund.”  Its purpose is to enable states to avoid or minimize cuts to education, higher education and other services.

On Saturday, Governor David Paterson issued a news release outlining New York’s shares of stimulus funds.  His office estimates that the state will receive $2.5 billion from the stabilization fund over the next two years for education and higher education.  Again, half the funds will not be available until July 2010.

District alllocations of stabilization funds will not be available for awhile.  The federal law will authorize and direct state governors to allocate funds between education and higher education, with first priority given to averting cuts and funding previously enacted formula increases.

To give a sense of magnitude, the stabilization fund will apparently give New York State roughly $1.25 billion for education and higher education to be used over the next year.  The statewide cut imposed by the proposed School Aid Deficit Reduction Assessment would be $1.1 billion and districts lose would $1.3 billion from the proposed freeze on Foundation Aid.

The stimulus bill provides additional funds for education and for general state budget relief.  These are described in the Governor’s news release.

President Obama plans to sign the bill on Tuesday.

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