Total Awarded to Date:

$1.2 Billion

Total Expended to Date:

$435.9 Million

Total Committed or Under Contract:

$586.1 Million

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) provides educators

various images in block form of students engaging in various educational activities
with the exciting and unprecedented opportunity to address some of the most pressing challenges in our public education system and also invest in the future of the Commonwealth. The allocation and expenditure of ARRA education funding will support our ongoing efforts to advance Governor Patrick's robust education agenda that is aimed at ensuring that all Massachusetts students will be prepared to reach their full potential.

In FY 2009, 2010, and 2011, Massachusetts will invest at least $1.9 billion in ARRA education funding 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

Maintain the Fiscal Stability of the K-12 and Higher Education Systems

Administrators at school districts and public institutions of higher education will continue to use ARRA education funding to address budget shortfalls caused by the fiscal situation in the Commonwealth and create/retain jobs for educators and staff members, which will help to ensure that students will continue to have access to high-quality educational programs and services.

In FY 2009, $412 million from the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund was expended

an image of a classroom of teenage students
to guarantee "foundation-level" funding (the threshold required by the Chapter 70 public education funding formula) for all school districts in Massachusetts. In FY 2010, approximately $170 million from the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund will be allocated to school districts as necessary to ensure that they reach foundation-level funding.

For FY 2009 and 2010, a total of $102 million from the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund was allocated to state and community colleges, and a total of $118 million was allocated to the University of Massachusetts campuses.

Different types of ARRA education funding - primarily State Fiscal Stabilization; Title I, Part A; and Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Part B - directly supported the jobs of 8,600 educators and staff members in school districts and public institutions of higher education across the Commonwealth. Administrators, teachers, paraprofessionals, and staff members were supported in school districts, and administrators, faculty members, staff members, and students (those who received Work Study funds) were supported in public institutions of higher education. In addition, ARRA education funding indirectly supported 850 jobs for child care providers in summer enrichment programs and also parents who retained employment because their children were enrolled in these programs.

Maintain and Enhance Students' Access to Educational Opportunities

ARRA funding will continue to be used to maintain and enhance students' access to educational opportunities. For example, Massachusetts was awarded $24 million in Child Care and Development Block Grant funds to support child care services, and $10 million to support Early Head Start and Head Start programs. The Commonwealth was also awarded $163 million in additional Title I, Part A funds to support students who are most at risk of failing to meet academic achievement standards, and $297 million in additional IDEA, Part B and Part C funds to support the education of students served by special education programs. Furthermore, the state was awarded $363 million in additional Pell Grant funds and $9.3 million in Work Study funds to support students in public colleges and universities.

Image of a teacher in front of students raising their hands in a classroom Implement Effective Improvement Strategies and Innovative Reform Initiatives

The expenditure of ARRA funding will also support the implementation of effective improvement strategies and innovative reform initiatives to address both state and federal education priorities.

In guidance documents issued to date, the U.S. Department of Education has emphasized the importance of using ARRA education funding to improve student achievement through school improvement and reform efforts. The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has also encouraged educators to allocate the ARRA funding to make strategic investments in educational initiatives and programs that will have longer-term impact. District and school administrators, teachers, and other education stakeholders have the opportunity to use the ARRA funding to provide enhanced educational opportunities for students and achieve real educational gains.

Through the Race to the Top Fund, a competitive grant program, a total of $4.35 billion will be awarded to states that demonstrate the capacity and commitment to investing in innovative practices related to four key federal priorities: 1) developing rigorous standards and assessments; 2) improving the quality of teaching and ensuring the equitable distribution of teachers; 3) establishing statewide longitudinal data systems; and 4) turning around low-performing schools. Massachusetts will submit an application in Phase I (anticipated due date in early January), and if approved, the U.S. Department of Education will allocate an award in the spring of 2010. If the state receives a Race to the Top award, the funds will be used to implement innovative programs that will support students and educators across the Commonwealth.

In addition, eligible entities including state agencies, school districts, institutions of higher education, education partners, and consortia of these entities will aggressively pursue ARRA funding awarded through other types of competitive programs such as the Investing in Innovation Fund, the Teacher Incentive Fund, and programs that support research activities.

Image of two college students in a science lab Support Infrastructure Investments in Educational Institutions

Administrators in school districts and public institutions of higher education have used State Fiscal Stabilization funds (in accordance with guidance issued by the U.S. Department of Education) to address infrastructure needs at educational institutions. Massachusetts will also use two types of ARRA bonds, Qualified School Construction Bonds (QSCBs) and Qualified Zone Academy Bonds (QZABs), to support infrastructure investments in public elementary and secondary schools. The state was awarded bond allocations of $145 million for the QSCBs in both 2009 and 2010 and $21 million for the QZABs in 2009.