ARRA Funds and State Budget Gaps

Source: Jennifer Cohen, New America Foundation, Ed Money Watch, June 22, 2010

Congress Passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 almost a year and a half ago, providing nearly $50 billion for education programs like Title I, Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, and Pell Grants. Additionally, the law included $48.6 billion for the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund, a new program meant to help states shore up education budget shortfalls. Since then, state budget shortfalls have continued to grow, causing lawmakers and interest groups to call for additional money to help support state education funding. But little discussion has focused on how much of the ARRA funds first made available to states in 2009 have actually been dispersed on a state by state basis. As would be expected, states with the highest expected budget gaps, for the most part, have dispersed the highest percentage of their ARRA funds. Similarly, some states with the smallest gaps have dispersed less of their ARRA funds. And of course, there are some notable exceptions to both of these trends.

Leave a Reply