Update on Education Jobs Money
Education Secretary Arne Duncan is urging governors to act quickly and submit their state applications for their share of the $10 billion education jobs funding as soon possible so that the emergency aid can begin flowing to districts. So far, 17 states have had their funding requests approved:
Estimated Number of
The $10 billion education fund was created to support education jobs in the 2010–11 school year and will be distributed to states by a formula based on population figures. States can then distribute their funding to school districts using their funding formulas or districts' relative share of federal Title I funds.
However, a provision in the bill requires states to have maintained their level of higher education spending this year, something many of the states have not been able to do. And the bill does not offer waivers for states to opt out of this requirement, which means that those states that have made drastic cuts to higher education could miss out on the windfall. Some states—such as California, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island—are believed to be caught in this noncompliance situation.
Despite the uncertainty, and given the general budget emergency at the state level, money has already started to flow because the Obama administration has been willing to send the funds out now and wait for administrators to prove their eligibility later. It remains to be seen, however, if states that are found to fail the requirements will have to return the money.
If you have any suggestions or feedback about the planned uses of edujobs funding, please firstname.lastname@example.org. Read the letter from Duncan to governors accompanying application information.