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Legislative Information

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA, stimulus package) --- As many of you are probably finding out now, the ARRA once-in-a-lifetime phenomena is slowly but surely making its way out of Washington. The ED under Judy Wurtzel's and Mike Smith's leadership is doing all it can to get the word out. To keep up with the flow of info: go to the ED's ARRA web page, subscribe to the ED's ARRA RSS feed and subscribe to ED's twitter.

(posted 08/13/12)
Finalized Application Available Today (8/13/12) [Read more.]

(posted 05/23/12)
USDOE Releases Second Race To the Top (RTTT) Competition
2012 Competition Proposal Available for Public Comment Until June 8 [Read more.]

(posted 09/22/11)
ARRA Funds
OMB recently sent a letter to all agencies "to accelerate the spending of remaining Recovery Act funds in discretionary grant programs". Further, OMB states, "If those funds have not been spent by September 30, 2013, agencies shall reclaim them to the extent permitted by law."

(posted 10/6/10) USDOE releases names and bios for Race To The Top. Click here for details.

(posted 7/23/10) The Ed Department released an updated table showing how much ARRA money has been obligated and how much has been outlayed by program. As of July 16th, $88,368 BILLION HAS BEEN OBLIGATED. ARRA funds expire at the end of fiscal year 2010.

(posted 6/11/10)

Thirty Five States applied for Round Two of the Race to the Top Funds.

Nine states(Idaho,Indiana,Kansas,Minnesota,Oregon,Southakota,Virginia,West Virginia,andWyomng) that applied for Round One opted out of Round 2.

Four states ( Alaska,NorthDakota,Texas.and Vermont) did not apply for either round.
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Of the 4.35 billion dollars provided in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act,$600 million was awarded to Tennessee an Delaware in the First Round. $350 million has been set aside for a separate competition to improve the quality of assessment. Finalist for the remaining $ 3.4 billion will be selected over the summer.
It is expected that 10-15 of the 35 applications will be awarded in Round 2.

(posted 3/5/10)
RACE TO THE TOP State semi-finalists Click here for details.

(posted 2/21/10)
Each NABSE member can view his/her state's application by going to the Department's web site. Click here for state links.

(posted 1/19/10)
Today's Wall Street Journal in a post by Neil King cites the following:

President Barack Obama plans to ask Congress for an extra $1.35 billion to expand his signature education program, designed to prod states into revamping their school systems, even while promising a barebones 2011 federal budget.

The request, which Mr. Obama intends to announce Tuesday, marks an early example of the administration moving to transform a onetime stimulus program into a more-permanent part of an agency's budget.

The Race to the Top program, run by the Education Department, seeks to encourage states to push innovation and impose strict testing standards in exchange for large federal grants. The initial $4.35 billion program was launched as part of last year's $787 billion stimulus package, and the money was meant to last through the end of this year.

Around 30 states are expected to submit applications by Tuesday's deadline for the first round of funding under the program, which has stirred tensions between school districts and local unions-and even between various counties.

The National Alliance of Black School Educators supports, without question,more money for education.But the devil is In the details.

NABSE's major concerns revolves around the question of the dollar source for the appropriation. NABSE,for example, at both the conceptual level and the formula level, will have serious concerns about any tampering with the intent of Title 1. What equations will assure equity access for local districts? For poor districts, what is the relationship of this request to the reauthorization of ESEA?

As this request moves through the stages of meeting the President's request, NABSE and its membership will carefully monitor.

By Dr. LaRuth Gray

Bulletin: Investing in Innovation (posted 10/15/09)

The USDOE has released details of how school districts and NONPROFITS can tap into $650 million Investing in Innovation Fund(i3).These funds result fr om the stimulus funds ; thus statue based.Districts and nonprofits that apply should have a track record of successful innovation and should have sufficient knowledge of research-based innovation. The money will go directly to school districts and their partners to scale up effective practices and to support existing or new promising programs on school reforms.

Press Release and Slide Show (Download from the web page.)

(posted 9/23/09)
Race to the Top Funds

When Congress passed the American Reinvestment Act it appropriated $4.35 billion. It stated as its purpose to reward states for past accomplishments and create incentives for future improvements. The funding criteria that the Department proposes to use will change states to create comprehensive strategies for addressing the four central areas of reform that will drive school improvement:

  • Adopting internationally benchmarked standards and assessments that prepare students for success in college and the workplace;
  • Recruiting, developing, retaining, and rewarding effective teachers and principals;
  • Building data systems that measure student success and inform teachers and principals how they can improve their practices; and
  • Turning around our lowest-performing schools.

The comment period for the proposed proposals has ended.

See federal register:http://www.regulations.gov/search/Regs/home.html#searchResults?Ne=11+8+8053+8098+8074+8066+8084

Fifty percent of the funds must flow to districts based on Title I formulas and fifty percent goes to states.

Timing of Applications and Awards:
The Department plans to make $4B in race to the Top grants in two phases. Phase 1 will open for applications late in 2009, and that awards will be made in early 2010. Phase 2 will open in late Spring of 2010, and that awards will be made by September 2010. States that apply in Phase 1 but are not awarded grants may reapply in Phase 2, together with States that are applying for the first time in Phase 2. Phase 1 grantees may not apply for additional funding in Phase 2; they will receive full-sized awards in Phase 1. Specific deadlines will be announced in subsequent notices inviting applications. Later this year, the Department intends to announce a second competition of up to $350 million for the improvement of State standards and assessments.

ARRA Webinar Presentation (posted 8/29/09)

PowerPoint Presentation --http://www.nabse.org/Legislative/webinar-07272009.ppt.
Transcript -- http://www.ed.gov/policy/gen/leg/recovery/presentation/webinar-07272009.doc

(posted 8/25/09)
ARRA Update August 19th

NEW: State and local governments, contractors, universities, non-profits and others that have received a grant, loan or contract of $25,000 or more under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 are required to register on the website, www.FederalReporting.gov. Registration opens today and is the first step in a process that requires recipients to submit spending reports to www.FederalReporting.gov beginning Oct. 1. Recipients have until Oct. 10 to submit reports.

The Data Quality Campaign has updated its 2009 ARRA Funding for State Longitudinal Data Systems page: http://www.dataqualitycampaign.org/resources/421. In the "What's New" section you can find a DQC moderated PowerPoint presentation regarding RTT, SFSF and SLDS grants; Race to the Top, SLDS grants, and SFSF Federal Registrar notices, DQC preliminary analyses and related news stories; and DQC's Leveraging Federal Funding for Longitudinal Data Systems - A Roadmap for States that provides a starting point for state plans by identifying federal funding sources that can be used for data-related activities.

Should read: Nation's Education Unions collaborate on Race to the Top funds (posted 7/30/09)

The $4.35 billion "Race to the Top" Fund will for the first time tie federal dollars to state and local policies that measure how well principals and teachers are able to produce student learning. "States that limit the use of student achievement data for teacher and principal evaluations will be ineligible for the reform dollars," said Education Secretary Arne Duncan in announcing the program. He added that while he and President Obama "are not na´ve about the difficulty of reforms," they expect the education community to challenge the status quo. Both Obama and Duncan lauded the presidents of the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers for leading their unions "beyond their comfort zones," and stated that teachers must be part of the application process. The two unions represent a total of 4.6 million teachers and school staff. The unions in turn applauded ED for its willingness to keep a promise that Duncan made to them at their annual conferences: to "work with us." "We appreciate the assurances about the involvement of unions," said NEA President Dennis Van Roekel. "Obama made it clear to have multiple measures of teacher performance. As states submit their applictions, they must have Union sign off.
(Source: Title Newsletter)

Race to the Top Announcement (posted 7/28/09)

President Obama and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan released proposed priorities, requirements, and selection criteria for the $4 billion Race to the Top Fund (RTTT), enacted by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). RTTT provides competitive grants to states to reward and support education reform in the four priority policy areas identified in the ARRA's State Fiscal Stabilization Fund (SFSF): promoting college- and career-ready standards and aligned, improved assessments; enhancing teacher effectiveness and promoting the equitable distribution of effective teachers for low-income and minority children; strengthening state longitudinal data systems that foster fuller collection, sharing, and use of data; and supporting the turn around of chronically underperforming schools.

ED to Demand Major Changes from States joining "Race to the Top" (posted 7/22/09)

Promises of education reform won't be enough to win states a share of the Education Department's $4.3 billion "Race to the Top" fund.

According to a 61-page draft of ARRA guidance circulating among Congress members and state education officials, states and districts will have to demonstrate their commitment through major legislative changes, and win written commitment from teachers unions, business and community stakeholders who may oppose those changes.

The draft, expected to be published formally on July 24, details application requirements that, if met, would give Education Secretary Arne Duncan a jump start on the administration's priorities for NCLB reauthorization: teacher and principal effectiveness, internationally benchmarked national standards, next-generation testing, and ramped-up state data systems. It integrates aspects of the America COMPETES Act and for the first time sets federal definitions for effective teachers, administrators, assessments, and even classroom data use. (From Title 1 E-news)

(posted 7/20/09)
Update on ARRA Funds

Secretary Duncan announced that the Department of Education will commit $350 million of the $4.35 billion Race-to-the Top Fund to support states in the creation of rigorous assessments linked to the internationally benchmarked common standards being developed by states.

The USED has indicated that a draft Race-to-the-Top RFP will be available for comment this month with the final application likely to be published in October (with an application deadline of December).

Continuing the administration's obvious support for Charter schools, Secretary Duncan announced in June that states that do not have charter school laws, or that artificially cap the number of charter schools authorized to operate, will be disadvantaged in the Race-to-the-Top competition.

Announcement: (posted 4/14/09)

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan yesterday(April 13th) announced that $108.8 million in funding for targeted students and communities is now available to states under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009. The announcement follows the first $44 billion in education-related Recovery funds made available on April 1. The release of funds includes $39.6 million in 180 Impact Aid Construction grants for communities with military bases, Indian reservations and other federal property that do not generate local tax revenues. Another $69.2 million in 52 Homeless Children and Youth grants helps states and school districts meet the educational and related needs of homeless students. "Given our difficult economic circumstances, it's very important that targeted communities and at-risk populations benefit immediately from the stimulus program," Duncan said. "These investments will create jobs and boost local economies, while also helping raise student achievement." The Impact Aid Construction grants, which will be distributed by formula, can help repair and modernize schools and alleviate overcrowding. State agencies will receive the Homeless Children and Youth funds by formula and may distribute them to districts via formula or competitive process.

Revised and Updated List of URLs on the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009:

The Department has released a PowerPoint presentation on guiding principles and funding availability. The ARRA contains more than $100 billion in direct education funding for the next two fiscal years and $39 billion in bonding authority and tax credits. FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE GO TO http://www.ed.gov/policy/gen/leg/recovery/presentation/.

ARRA Information Resources