United States Department of Education
2010 Progress Report
The Obama Administration’s cradle-to-career agenda is designed with the President's goal of becoming number one in the world in college completion by 2020. To meet that goal, we have focused on the following:
Saving and creating education jobs
Driving Pre-K–12 reform at the state and local level
Advancing educational equity
Increasing college access, affordability, and completion
Transforming the federal role in education to support innovation across the states and in local communities.
When President Obama took office, American schools were facing a potential catastrophe. Some experts estimated that as many as 600,000 education jobs would be lost. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act provided nearly $100 billion for education. That included the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund (SFSF), which provided $48 billion to states to protect jobs as well as $10 billion in Title I funding for disadvantaged students and $11 billion in IDEA funding for special education students. In less than five months, the Obama Administration awarded grants to all states and territories.
American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA)
States report that SFSF and other Recovery Act funds saved or created more than 325,000 education jobs as well as an additional 75,000 jobs in public safety and other non-education functions.
“The bottom line is it helped save jobs and it helped the district from going into a greater downward spiral,” said Ricardo Medina, superintendent of Coachella Valley Unified. That district cut about $8 million from its 2009-10 budget and is working to fill a $16 million hole for 2010-11. “It would have been catastrophic if we did not receive that money.” [The Desert Sun, 5/23/10]
Palm Springs Unified Superintendent Lorri McCune called the stimulus money “huge.” “The cuts would have been much more severe had we not had the money that came from the federal government,” she said. “We feel even just keeping people employed for one more year obviously makes a huge impact for them and, certainly for us, more teachers makes a difference,” she said. The money helped limit increases to class sizes and provided intervention teachers and extra training. [The Desert Sun, 5/23/10]
In March, New Haven Deputy Superintendent of Schools Philip Russell told the New Haven Register that the $1.5M in stimulus funds the district received saved the jobs of 30 teachers. “Without stimulus funds, we’d have to lay off 30 teachers.” [New Haven Register, 3/4/10]
Due to ongoing state and district budget shortfalls and potential layoffs of thousands of teachers, the Obama Administration worked with Congress during the spring and summer of 2010 to secure $10 billion to support up to 160,000 education jobs in the 2010-11 school year.