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Send Us Your Stimulus Questions


Schools and the Stimulus

If you're trying to make sense of the $787 billion stimulus package, and what it means for education, Politics K-12 wants to help. Over the next few days, we'll be compiling a list of Frequently Asked Questions and answering them on the blog. No question is too detailed. After all, $100 billion in education funding is at stake. And if Alyson and I don't know the answers, we'll find someone who does.

Leave your question in the comment section below, or shoot us an e-mail. Our e-mail addresses are to the right, under our pictures.


There's money for "school improvement" that NEA is breaking down to show what will go to each state. What can that money be used for?

(It occurs to me that it could be the incentive money for data, getting teachers to challenging schools, etc. But the Secretary has great discretion over that, making me think the "school improvement" part can't be a state-by-state allocation.)

Are states supposed to restore spending to FY08 levels or FY06 levels? The legislation says different things in different places.

Will any funds be directed to middle schools, especially to rural schools and those not identified as Title I schools?

With the ability to waive maintenance of effort and supplement not supplant provisions, how will taxpayers know whether there was an actual or real increase in spending on education by the states?

What accounting and reporting measures will be made public to ensure that clear, accurate, and understandable information is available?

Will the stimulas package offer any additional funding specifically for the Even Start Family Literacy Program (Title I, Part B)? Additionally, will the package include any additional funding for adult literacy and/or parenting education?


When will President Obama and Arne Duncan establish and enforce Uniform Standards for School Safety and Student Discipline and take action to Abolish Physical (Corporal) Punishment (Paddling/Hitting Schoolchildren with Weapons/Wooden Boards) in Schools? School employees who purchase and possess weapons/wooden paddles for the deliberate infliction of physical pain and suffering intended to punish schoolchildren are in direct Conflict/Violation of Zero Tolerance of Weapons in Schools Policies. NO Economic Stimilus or Federal Funding should go to 21 states that allow school paddling. Ohio's Governor Ted Strickland has proposed a ban on school paddling tied to education funding, if approved, Ohio will be the 30th state to Abolish Corporal Punishment of Schoolchildren. ALL children must be ensured Equal Civil Rights Treatment in Schools in the 21st Century in America and have equal educational access to safe, healthy and supportive learning environments as provided for by citizen tax dollars. No good comes from hitting children and there is no justification to hit any child, ever! Educators who hit schoolchildren with weapons as punishment are powerfully modeling physical assault/violence as the acceptable way for them to solve problems. The cost to eliminate educators' right to assault and batter schoolchildren is $0. Current investigations of HUNDREDS of reports of child abuse in Chicago Public Schools
and Excessive Force used to punish a 9-year-old boy resulting in the child suffering deep bruising from being hit with a wooden paddle 3 TIMES IN ONE DAY at Potter Street Elementary School in Decatur Co., GA by the Assistant Principal are powerful testament to the need for UNIFORM STANDARDS IN ALL SCHOOLS THAT PROHIBIT PHYSICAL PUNISHMENT AND/OR USE OF WEAPONS and FOR ACCOUNTABILITY by Governmental Leaders/Agencies.

How can we get monies for grants for updated computer hardware/software for classrooms? Will an education committee establish an entity/organization to distribute for classroom grants for this purpose?

What are the specifics on the innovation fund? (It's being lumped in with the incentive funds in a lot of stimulus coverage) Thanks!

How much money will actually end up at the school level vs. state level programs?

How much of the funds will be based on teacher performance on state tests? I know Duncun is a pay for performance advocate.

Will middle class schools, schools who student body is right in the middle of the budget crunch, see any of the funds?

How much will go to keeping jobs (since iit is stimulus) and how much will go toward No Child Left Behind?

In AZ full day kindergarten was cut. Will the stimulus help offer that again?

What is the impact to charter schools? Did the final bill include language that Charter schools share equally or is that left to each state and district to decide?

How can districts, states, etc. access funds from the "race to the top" pot? Will there be a proposal process? What types of initiatives can this money be used for?

Re: Title I funds...will the ARRA funds have to be distributed proprotionally to eligible entities as current funding is? If so, how can districts reach underserved schools? If not, what discretion will states and districts have in prioritizing the distribtuion of funds?

A line breakdown of the "Innovation and Improvement" section would be useful. Title II of NCLB is referenced but I don't understand the practical effect.

Also, Tittle II is referenced in the "School Improvement Programs" section. I don't have a particular question but would appreciate any explanation.

I heard that there will be an additional $100 million for the National School Lunch Program, setting aside money for a new grant program to help provide schools, especially those with lots of low-income students, with money to upgrade their equipment. Do charter schools have access to this program? In what other ways can capital expenses be funded (as in this example), now that the school construction funds have been done away with?

Where can non-profit organizations get more information with regards to the following funds referenced online by Rep. Miller:

"At the urging of Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee, the fund sets aside $650 million for school districts or districts in partnership with nonprofit groups. This could include charter schools or other programs with a track record of boosting achievement

How will teacher salary be linked to student academic performance under this package? How will this impact "highly qualified" teacher criteria?

How will the stimulus package address funds for Title IV (Safe and Drug-free Schools?) For many Student Assistance Programs, these funds are the only monies used to run critical prevention and intervention programs. It seems the emotional and mental well-being of our students has become a growing issue.

There is a 'Buy American' provision in the Stimulus package. What does that mean, who is going to regulate it and how?

As an educational advocate for foster children, how can I tap into this funding to help ensure the proper in-school support for these at risk children? Is there an application?

Are there funds to support school modernization and construction in the stimulus bill?

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