Application Requirements for Final $11.5 Billion in State Fiscal Stabilization Funds Available Now
Secretary of Education Arne Duncan last week announced that application requirements for the final $11.5 billion in State Fiscal Stabilization Funds under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 are now available. In exchange for this unprecedented funding boost, the department is asking states to provide some basic information on teacher distribution, the collection and use of data, standards and assessments, and support for struggling schools.
Identifying what works and does not work in the classroom will promote a shared responsibility for improving educational opportunities and outcomes that engages all of the key stakeholders - students, parents, teachers, principals, administrators, community leaders, business leaders, and elected officials at every level.
Taken together, these four commitments will help ensure outstanding teachers in America's schools, arm educators with the tools and data needed to determine what does and doesn't work in our nation's classrooms, align curricula and assessments with rigorous standards that prepare young people for college and careers, and transform our lowest-performing schools.
"The Department of Education has moved quickly to award over $67 billion in education stimulus dollars to date to stabilize state budgets and save jobs," said Duncan. "We are now asking states to implement reform based action items in order to receive the remaining $11.5 billion in State Fiscal Stabilization Funds."
Monday's application requires states to provide data that will lay the foundation for reform including:
- How teachers and principals are evaluated and how this information is used to support, retain, promote, or remove staff.
- The extent to which the state has a Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems that includes all of the necessary America COMPETES Act and how it will implement a comprehensive system by 2011.
- Whether the state provides student growth data on current students and the students taught in the previous year to, at a minimum, teachers of reading/language arts and mathematics in grades in which the state administers assessments in those subjects in a manner that is timely and informs instructional programs.
- The number and identity of the schools that are Title I schools in improvement, corrective action, or restructuring that are identified as persistently lowest-achieving schools.
State applications must describe the state's current ability to collect the data or other information needed for the assurance indicators and descriptors as well as the state's current ability to make the data or information easily available to the public. If the state is currently able to fully collect and publicly report the required data or other information at least annually, the state must provide the most recent data or information with its plan.
If a state is not currently able to fully collect or publicly report the data or other information at least annually, the plan must describe the state's process and timeline for developing and implementing the means to do so as soon as possible but no later than Sept. 30, 2011. The state plan must describe the state's collection and public reporting abilities with respect to each individual indicator or descriptor.
The application, requirements, and summary of the requirements can all be found here: http://www.ed.gov/programs/statestabilization/applicant.html.