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Potential Uses for ARRA Funds

The following is a compilation of U.S. Department of Education resources providing examples of potential uses for American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 funds.

Title I, Part A Funds for Grants to Local Educational Agencies

Examples of potential uses of Title I, Part A ARRA funds External link opens in new window or tab. that are allowable under Title I and consistent with ARRA principles:

Using Title I, Part A ARRA Funds to Strengthen Education, Drive Reform, and Improve Results for Students External link opens in new window or tab. (Updated 2-May-2013; PDF). This is detailed ED guidance.

IDEA Recovery Funds for Services to Children and Youths with Disabilities

The IDEA ARRA funds External link opens in new window or tab. constitute a large one-time increment in IDEA, Part B funding that offers states and LEAs a unique opportunity to improve teaching, learning and results for children with disabilities. Generally, funds should be used for short-term investments that have the potential for long-term benefits, rather than for expenditures the LEAs may not be able to sustain once the ARRA funds are expended. Some possible uses of these limited-term IDEA ARRA funds that are allowable under IDEA and aligned with the core reform goals for which states must provide assurances under SFSF include:

Using ARRA Funds Provided Through Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) to Drive School Reform and Improvement External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF; Dated 24-Apr-2009). This is detailed ED guidance.

Using IDEA Part C ARRA Funds to Improve Outcomes for Infants and Toddlers with Disabilities and their Families External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF; Dated 1-Sep-2009). This is detailed ED guidance.

Creating Jobs and Reforming Education

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Saving and Creating Jobs and Reforming Education External link opens in new window or tab.
A slideshow presentation from the U.S. Department of Education on April 3, 2009.

Driving Long-term Educational Reform and Improvement

The following are illustrative examples of potential uses of ARRA funds to drive long-term educational reform and Improvement. These are the beginning of ideas the U.S. Department of Education is hearing from the field and is not comprehensive. These ideas are meant to spur thinking. None of these ideas are “silver bullets.” All reform initiatives should be considered as a component of your standards-based reform strategies.

Improving teacher effectiveness and equitable distribution of highly qualified teachers

Identify and train highly effective teachers to serve as instructional leaders, coaches, mentors and make time in the school schedule for staff collaboration around student data and improving teaching.

Establish and carry out a fair and reliable teacher evaluation system that provides ongoing feedback to teachers about their performance based on objective measures of student progress and multiple classroom observations, and provides guidance for improving instructional practices.

Ensure English language learners and students with disabilities in Title I schoolwides get quality teaching in core content areas by supporting training and dual certification.

Establishing data systems and using data for improvement

Develop or enhance existing data systems to provide teachers access to student data such as attendance, grades, and course schedules, ELL status, and with reports on their students’ academic performance and growth and how that compares to statewide averages for similar students and schools with linked teacher and student identifiers that track student growth over time.

Implement an easy-to-use online Individual Education Program (IEP) system aligned with state academic standards that can be used by parents, teachers and principals to create content-rich IEPs aligned to the general education curriculum

Turning around the lowest-performing schools

Close and reopen low performing school with new staff, new research-based instructional programs, additional learning time for students, and intensive professional development for teachers.

Offer summer programs in Title I schools that give students the resources to be successful in essential courses such as grade nine algebra and college-preparatory classes.

Improving results for all students

Strengthen early learning. Strengthen quality of and access to preschool through professional development, developmentally appropriate materials, language-rich classrooms, inclusive placements for pre-schoolers with disabilities, alignment of pre-K programs with state early learning guidelines and K-3 standards, partnerships with existing Head Start and other programs to extend full day care, and data systems that can follow students’ progress into the elementary grades and beyond.

Use technology to improve teaching and learning. Purchase and train teachers to use instructional software, smart boards and other interactive technologies that have been shown to be effective for instruction, particularly for English language learners, students with disabilities, and both struggling and advanced learners. Use open education resources or purchase high-quality online courseware in core high school content areas, including use for credit recovery.

Accelerated tracks to college. Create partnerships with colleges and non-profits to establish accelerated high school programs such as early college which help students enter and succeed in college. For students with disabilities, hire transition coaches to help graduating seniors find employment or get postsecondary training.

School modernization and construction. Build modern, healthy school facilities that that are open to the community, that have up-to-date science labs and technology that enhance learning, and that model energy efficiency to save money over the long-term.

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