The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) provides educators
Massachusetts has and will continue to invest ARRA funds to:
- Maintain the fiscal stability of the K-12 and higher education systems and create/retain jobs for educators and staff members;
- Maintain and enhance students' access to educational opportunities;
- Implement effective improvement strategies and innovative reform initiatives to address both state and federal education priorities; and
- Support infrastructure investments in educational institutions.
From June 2009 through today, we have strategically allocated almost $1 billion in State Fiscal Stabilization funding to school districts and our public institutions of higher education. The funding has been used to stabilize budgets during the fiscal crisis; directly support teachers, faculty members, administrators, and staff members across the state; preserve the high-quality of educational and other services provided to students; and support capital improvements especially at our public institutions of higher education.
We have allocated $163 million in additional Title I funding and $297 million in additional Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) funding to provide greater support for students living in poverty and students receiving special education services. Title I funding is being spent in 258 districts that serve over 200,000 eligible students; IDEA funding is being in spent in 389 districts that serve over 165,000 school age (ages 3-21) students, and also in 179 districts that serve 9,000 children in preschool programs (birth to age 2). These funds represent increases of 67% and over 100% respectively for Title I and IDEA funds over past years.
Race to the Top
Massachusetts has a reputation as a national leader in education reform and improvement efforts. In the recent Race to the Top competition, Massachusetts' application received the top score out of those submitted by 46 states and the District of Columbia. The U.S. Department of Education awarded $250 million to the Commonwealth that will fund four major initiatives: (1) Implement ambitious and statewide reform initiatives related to adopting rigorous standards and assessments; (2) Build and sustain a high-quality educator workforce; (3) Rapidly improve our lowest-performing schools; and (4) Create robust data systems to track student and teacher performance. In addition to Race to the Top, Massachusetts has secured different types of competitive ARRA funding, including:
- A multi-state consortium, led by Massachusetts, was awarded $185 million in additional Race to the Top funding to develop the next generation of student assessments.
- We received an award of $27 million from the Teacher Incentive Fund to explore new ways of compensating our educators for their work.
- We received an award of $13 million in Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems funding to enhance our statewide data systems.
- Many institutions of higher education have secured over $65 million from different federal agencies to support groundbreaking research activities in science, technology, mathematics, engineering, and other fields.
- Multiple applicants from Massachusetts received recognition and funding through the Investing in Innovation Fund, a program to promote the development and implementation of innovative practices related to improving student achievement and growth, closing achievement gaps, decreasing dropout rates, increasing graduation rates, and increasing college enrollment and completion rates.