Billions in Recovery Funding Available Now

The Department of Education has made available ahead of schedule the second half of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funding—$11.37 billion—in Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, IDEA, and Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) grants and provided further guidance to states and schools on use of funds, flexibility, and the need for collaboration across programs.

The $5 billion in Title I funding is being made available early to districts for schools that serve high concentrations of students from families that live in poverty. These funds are available to support innovative strategies in Title I schools that improve education for at-risk students, close achievement gaps, and stimulate local economies. Likewise, the $6.1 billion in early IDEA funding provides states, school districts and early intervention service providers with additional support for innovative strategies to improve outcomes for infants, toddlers, children and youths with disabilities while stimulating the economy. The $270 million in early VR funding provides state VR agencies an opportunity to further improve employment outcomes for individuals with disabilities.

The Department of Education is releasing additional guidance on using Recovery Act funds under Title I, IDEA Part B and Part C. This guidance suggests how Title I and IDEA funds can be used to increase educators' ability to improve student results, avoid the "funding cliff," and foster continuous improvement.

In addition, the department released guidance on how improving instruction for at-risk students through Response to Intervention (RTI) can be supported with funds under Title I and IDEA as well as under Title III of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.

The following Web sites provide additional guidance:

Title I ARRA funds, http://www.ed.gov/policy/gen/leg/recovery/guidance/titlei-reform.pdf
IDEA Part B ARRA funds, http://www.ed.gov/policy/gen/leg/recovery/guidance/idea-b-reform.pdf
IDEA Part C ARRA funds, http://www.ed.gov/policy/gen/leg/recovery/guidance/idea-c-reform.pdf
RTI Guidance, http://www.ed.gov/programs/titleiparta/rti.html

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