The Stimulus Is Coming, The Stimulus...

Here's the latest announcement from the Feds about the next big wave of Stimulus money headed this way.

In essence, the state gets nearly $2 billion in money -- most of it supposed to go to education -- in exchange for doing all sorts of data reporting and accountablity- and choice- type things.

I suppose the state could try and refuse the money, as I think South Carolina is trying to do. But I doubt it'll happen.


Application for Part 1 of Illinois' State Stabilization Funds Approved Today

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan today announced

that nearly $1.4 billion is now available for Illinois under the

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009. This funding

will lay the foundation for a generation of education reform and help

save thousands of teaching jobs at risk of state and local budget cuts.

"The real impact of the nearly $2 billion Illinois has

received so far will be determined not at the federal level, but at the

local level in districts across the state," Duncan said. "We will be

watching to see if Illinois state leaders, superintendents, principals

and teachers seize this critical opportunity to turn around whole

systems and schools."

Illinois is receiving $1.4 billion today per the State's

successful completion of Part 1 of the State Stabilization Application,

which was made available April 1. Eighty two percent of these funds are

to be distributed to public elementary, secondary, and higher education

institutions, with the remaining 18 percent to be available for

education, school modernization, public safety, or other government

services. Illinois, California and South Dakota are the first three

states to successfully complete applications and be approved for the

first round of state stabilization funding. Illinois will be eligible

to apply for another $678 million in state stabilization funds this


To date, Illinois has received nearly $500 million in

education stimulus funds-- representing a combination of funding for

Title I, IDEA, Vocational Rehabilitation grants, Independent Living

grants, Impact Aid dollars and Homeless Education grants. On April 1,

Illinois received more than $210 million in Title I funding and more

than $270 million in IDEA funding. This amount represents 50 percent

of the total Title I and IDEA funding for which Illinois is eligible.

On April 1, Illinois also received more than $10 million in Vocational

Rehab funds and nearly $2 million in Independent Living funds. On April

10, the state received more than $624,000 in Impact Aid Funding and

$2.6 million in Homeless Education grants.

In order to receive today's funds, Illinois provided

assurances that they will collect, publish, analyze and act on basic

information regarding the quality of classroom teachers, annual student

improvements, college readiness, the effectiveness of state standards

and assessments, progress on removing charter caps, and interventions

in turning around underperforming schools.

Illinois is also required by the U.S. Department of

Education to report the number of jobs saved through Recovery Act

funding, the amount of state and local tax increases averted, and how

funds are used.

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