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Details on the Education Stimulus Bills

Update as of February 12th: I will try to get you an analysis of the education portion of the stimulus bill which was settled after House, Senate, and Obama administration officials reached agreement last night. This paves the way for Congress to take this up by the end of the week.

And the arts sector was worried about a measly $50 million to the NEA.

Here ya go, details on what the Senate and House bills contain for the Education portion of the Stimulus Bill. There’s a lot here, and hopefully, fingers crossed, a lot that could help arts education.

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Under the Senate package
passed yesterday, K-12 schools, colleges and Prek programs would garner over
$80 billion in stimulus funding.

The total package came in
at $838 billion which received only three Republican votes. In comparison, the
House package is $819 billion and includes substantially more money for school
construction and direct aid to states. The two bills are being reconciled.

Originally, the Senate bill
as approved by the Appropriations Committee last January included approximately
$140 billion in education funding, about equal to the present House bill.

Only three Republicans voted for the bill yesterday: Sen. Olympia Snowe (Maine), Sen. Susan Collins (Maine), and Sen. Arlen Specter (Pennsylvania).

The House versus the
Senate bills

The House bill would provide $14 billion for school construction and $79 billion for stabilization funding to the states, the majority of which is for education.

The Senate eliminated $16
billion in school construction funding included its original bill, and reduced
the state stabilization line to $39 billion.

The Senate and House measures
would provide $1 billion for education technology.

A total of $2 billion in
Title I money is in both the Senate and House versions, including school
improvement grants to be used for schools failing to meet mandated targets in
NCLB.

The Senate bill would cut
to $12.4 billion the approximately $13 billion dedicated for Title I programs in the House bill
for fiscal years 2009 and 2010.

The House’s version of the stabilization
fund would include $15 billion in “incentive grants” for states, districts, and
nonprofit organizations, and $25 billion in aid to states that could be used
for a variety of purposes including education.

The Senate’s version of
the state stabilization line would include $7.5 billion to states as grants to
incentivize meeting certain school performance measures and funding for local districts
and public colleges/universities, all distributed through existing state and
federal formulas; and flexible funding that could be used for education and
other purposes.

Head Start would receive
about $1 billion in the Senate bill and $2.1 billion in the House version. “Teacher
quality grants” to the states would be $50 million in the Senate; $100 million
in the House.

The House bill has some
other assorted and sundry items not included in the Senate bill: $250 million
for state-run data systems; $25 million in funding for charter school
facilities; and $200 million for the Teacher Incentive Fund, which funds alternative
pay programs.

Importantly, the Senate
bills would allow Secretary Arne Duncan to waive what is called “maintenance-of-effort
provisions” for the Title I money, special education, and other education
programs during fiscal years 2009 and 2010. Maintenance of efforts provisions require states to keep up past funding levels and not use the funding to offset
reductions in their own spending.

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