May 19, 2009

$111 Million in Education Funding Now Available to Rhode Island

Application for Part 1 of Rhode Island’s State Stabilization Funds Approved Today

WASHINGTON, DC — Rhode Island’s Congressional Delegation today announced that $111 million dollars in education funding is now available to the state through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009, which was signed into law by President Obama on February 17, 2009. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse and Representatives Patrick Kennedy and Jim Langevin supported the Recovery Act, which ensured that the state could seek today’s funds by completing Part 1 of the State Stabilization Application. The state will be eligible to apply for another $54 million this fall.

“Rhode Island has received more than $3 million a day in federal funding since the Recovery Act was signed into law. This infusion of federal aid comes at a time of great need in our state and offers an opportunity to reform Rhode Island’s education system and strengthen our work force,” said Reed, a senior member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee. “If this education funding is invested wisely, it has the potential to benefit our students and communities. It will also position the state to take advantage of competitive education grants which will soon be available under the Recovery Act.”

“A good education is the most valuable gift we can give our children,” said Whitehouse, who was recently named to serve temporarily on the Senate HELP Committee. “This funding will help Rhode Island schools prepare our students for success today and into the future.”

“This federal investment is one of the most critical pieces of a sustainable economic recovery. With local budget shortfalls, these federal funds will ensure students have access to the education they deserve, while also preserving the jobs of dedicated teachers who work tirelessly to prepare Rhode Island’s students for a global marketplace,” said Kennedy.

“I am pleased to see this large infusion of funding coming into our state’s educational system so quickly, just three months after the stimulus bill’s passage,” said Langevin. “In the face of a challenging economic climate, we must keep our children’s education as a top priority and remember that an educated workforce is key to our state’s economic recovery.”

To date, Rhode Island has received $43 million in education stimulus funds, representing a combination of funding for Title I ($18 million), IDEA ($24 million), Vocational Rehabilitation Grants ($867,000), and Independent Living Grants ($267,000). This represents 50% of the Title I and IDEA funding Rhode Island is eligible for in total.

In order to receive today’s funds, Rhode Island provided assurances that it will collect, publish, analyze, and act on basic information regarding the quality of classroom teachers; annual student improvements; college readiness; the effectiveness of state standards and assessments; progress on removing charter caps; and interventions in turning around underperforming schools. Rhode Island is also required by the Department of Education to report the number of jobs saved through Recovery Act funding, the amount of state and local tax increases averted, and how funds are used.

Rhode Island’s application for initial funding under the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund Program is available at


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