Under the Senate package passed yesterday, K-12 schools, colleges and Prek programs would garner over $80 billion in stimulus funding.
The total package came in at $838 billion which received only three Republican votes. In comparison, the House package is $819 billion and includes substantially more money for school construction and direct aid to states. The two bills are being reconciled.
Originally, the Senate bill as approved by the Appropriations Committee last January included approximately $140 billion in education funding, about equal to the present House bill.
Only three Republicans voted for the bill yesterday: Sen. Olympia Snowe (Maine), Sen. Susan Collins (Maine), and Sen. Arlen Specter (Pennsylvania).
The House versus the Senate bills
The House bill would provide $14 billion for school construction and $79 billion for stabilization funding to the states, the majority of which is for education.
The Senate eliminated $16 billion in school construction funding included its original bill, and reduced the state stabilization line to $39 billion.
The Senate and House measures would provide $1 billion for education technology.
A total of $2 billion in Title I money is in both the Senate and House versions, including school improvement grants to be used for schools failing to meet mandated targets in NCLB.
The Senate bill would cut to $12.4 billion the approximately $13 billion dedicated for Title I programs in the House bill for fiscal years 2009 and 2010.
The House’s version of the stabilization fund would include $15 billion in “incentive grants” for states, districts, and nonprofit organizations, and $25 billion in aid to states that could be used for a variety of purposes including education.
The Senate’s version of the state stabilization line would include $7.5 billion to states as grants to incentivize meeting certain school performance measures and funding for local districts and public colleges/universities, all distributed through existing state and federal formulas; and flexible funding that could be used for education and other purposes.
Head Start would receive about $1 billion in the Senate bill and $2.1 billion in the House version. “Teacher quality grants” to the states would be $50 million in the Senate; $100 million in the House.
The House bill has some other assorted and sundry items not included in the Senate bill: $250 million for state-run data systems; $25 million in funding for charter school facilities; and $200 million for the Teacher Incentive Fund, which funds alternative pay programs.
Importantly, the Senate bills would allow Secretary Arne Duncan to waive what is called “maintenance-of-effort provisions” for the Title I money, special education, and other education programs during fiscal years 2009 and 2010. Maintenance of efforts provisions require states to keep up past funding levels and not use the funding to offset reductions in their own spending.
Image from NYCEducator.com