The White House Office of Management and Budget last night released guidance for states on how to calculate the impact of stimulus dollars, including how recovery dollars are being spent and how many jobs have been saved. You can read the guidance for yourself here.
One state official I talked to said she finds the guidance confusing, as least as it applies to education.
Betsy Carpentier, deputy superintendent of innovation and support in South Carolina, called the reporting requirements confusing and "pie in the sky". One of her chief complaints? The OMB doesn't explain how to calculate jobs saved that aren't year-round (such as many teaching positions). She's hoping the Council of Chief State School Officers will help states figure out how to work with the requirements.
Tom Gavin, an OMB spokesman, said the guidance was developed with input from state officials and includes a formula for less-than-12-month employees. He also said OMB will hold a series of town hall meetings and engage in other outreach efforts to help state officials better understand the guidance.
One thing I noticed: The guidance doesn't include reporting requirements on student outcomes. Gavin said that the guidance is too broad-based for that, since it covers stimulus money from a range of agencies.
"It's not just education guidance," he said. It applies to programs "that are disparate in mission, you couldn't come up with a metric that would cover watersheds and students."