Thursday, August 19, 2010

CA to Receive $213 Million to Stabilize Local Schools

California Department of Education News Release

State Schools Chief Jack O'Connell Announces California to
Receive $213 Million in Federal Funding to Stabilize Local Schools

SACRAMENTO — State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell today announced California's kindergarten through grade twelve public schools will receive $213 million in State Fiscal Stabilization Fund (SFSF) Phase II federal stimulus funding from the U.S. Department of Education. This is the last portion of SFSF funds California was eligible to receive.

"I applaud President Barack Obama and U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan for getting critically needed funds to states in order to help schools in these dire economic times," said O'Connell. "School districts are struggling against massive state budget cuts, teacher layoffs, and program cutbacks. This funding comes at a critical time, and I have directed California Department of Education staff to disburse the funds to schools as quickly as possible."

SFSF is part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The federal funding is designed to help schools avert layoffs and advance reform in the areas of teacher quality, standards and assessments, data to improve instruction, and support of struggling schools. SFSF funding came in two phases. In the first phase, California received a grant of $2.6 billion in the spring of 2009, and an additional $355 million in the fall of 2009 for kindergarten through grade twelve public education. This week's announcement of the remaining $213 million in additional funding is the second and last phase of SFSF funding.

Legislative approval is still needed in order for CDE to have statutory authority to distribute the funds to local educational agencies. Similar authority is needed before CDE can disburse new funds coming to California through the federal Education Jobs Fund bill.
"I urge the Governor and Legislature to approve the state budget or pass stand alone-legislation immediately so CDE can distribute these funds to schools that desperately need them," O'Connell said.

"With this application, California provided us with basic information on what is working in their classrooms," said Duncan in a statement on the SFSF funding. "This data is a critical tool in helping us work together—with students, parents, teachers, administrators, community leaders and elected officials at every level—to improve education for California's students."
California's application included information on how the state 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;
    •    How the state will implement its California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System;
    •    How the state provides student academic growth data on reading/language arts and mathematics in a way that improves instructional programs; and
    •    A list of Title I schools in improvement, corrective action, or restructuring that are identified as persistently lowest-achieving schools.
For information on SFSF, please visit State Fiscal Stabilization Fund (SFSF) - American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.