Virginia has been awarded an additional $324.6 million through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 to support public education. To date, Virginia has received more than $2 billion in stimulus funds, and state officials report these funds have supported nearly 8,000 education jobs so far this year.
Virginia’s successful application for these federal funds included detailed information on the processes used to evaluate the performance of principals, teachers and students, as well as ongoing efforts to improve student performance at persistently low-achieving schools.
“The funds announced today will help strengthen Virginia’s education system, keep quality teachers, and improve academic results for students,” said U.S. Senator Jim Webb.
“I am a firm believer in the principle that â€˜what gets measured gets done,’ and these stimulus funds will help support Virginia’s efforts to track what is working in our classrooms to improve education for Virginia students,” U.S. Senator Mark Warner said. “At a time when state and local government budgets are tight, these stimulus dollars have helped Virginia avoid even deeper cuts to public education.”
In addition to the $324 million announced today, the Recovery Act is providing $1,795,416,976 in funding through 13 different programs to the state of Virginia. Prior to today’s announcement, Virginia has received:
- $878,094,304 in State Fiscal Stabilization funds to minimize job reductions in education and other essential public services.
- $165,352,019 in Title I funds to support schools that have high concentrations of students from families that live in poverty in order to help improve teaching and learning for students most at risk of failing to meet state academic achievement standards.
- $302,263,160 in IDEA funds to help ensure that children with disabilities, including children aged three through five, have access to a free and appropriate public education to meet each child’s unique needs and prepare him or her for further education, employment, and independent living.
- $10,783,251 in Education Technology Grants to improve student academic achievement through the use of technology in schools. It is also designed to help ensure that every student is technologically literate by the end of eighth grade and to encourage the effective integration of technology with teacher training and curriculum development.
- $11,601,624 in Vocational Rehabilitation to help individuals with disabilities, especially those individuals with the most significant disabilities, prepare for, obtain, and maintain employment.
- $3,376,736 in Independent Living Services Funds to provide support services to individuals with significant disabilities and older individuals who are blind to maximize their leadership, empowerment, independence, and productivity, and to promote the integration and full inclusion of individuals with disabilities into the mainstream of American society.
- $50,630,778 in School Improvement Grants to turn around persistently low-achieving schools by using rigorous school intervention models.
- $3,745,000 in Impact Aid funds for construction activities, including the preparation of drawings and specifications for school facilities; erecting, building, acquiring, altering, remodeling, repairing or extending school facilities; and inspecting and supervising the construction of school facilities.
- $5,796,491 in Teacher Quality Partnerships grants to improve student achievement; improve the quality of new prospective teachers by improving their preparation and to enhance professional development activities for teachers; to hold teacher preparation programs at institutions of higher education accountable for preparing highly qualified teachers; and to recruit highly qualified individuals, including minorities and individuals from other occupations, into the teaching force.
- $341,152,944 in Pell Grants have been awarded to students attending schools in Virginia. Pell Grants are awarded based on student applications, not by state. Federal Pell Grant Program provides need-based grants to low-income undergraduate and certain post-baccalaureate students to promote access to postsecondary education. Students may use their grants at any one of approximately 5,400 participating postsecondary institutions. The additional funding allowed the Department of Education to raise the maximum Pell award from $4,731 to $5,350.
- $3,827,685 in Work Study funds have been awarded to students attending schools in Virginia, providing colleges and universities with additional funding to provide jobs to students to help with their college and living expenses.
- $17,692,564 in State Longitudinal Data Systems grants were just recently announced for Virginia to enable the Commonwealth to examine student progress from childhood into career.