More federal dollars we are happy to accept: $322 million for education jobs

Just received this update from US DOE about the $322 million in education funding that could help save 5,700 education jobs in Georgia. We apparently wasted no time in getting our application into Washington to get the money flowing:

GEORGIA TO RECEIVE $322.3 MILLION TO SUPPORT EDUCATION JOBS

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan today announced that Georgia will receive $322.3 million to support education jobs.

“There is a huge sense of urgency to get these funds out the door.  I commend Georgia for being one of the first states to submit their application and thank our team at the Department for making funds available within a matter of days,” said Duncan. “These education dollars will help Georgia keep thousands of teachers in the classroom working with our students this school year.”

The $10 billion education fund will support education jobs in the 2010-11 school year and be distributed to states by a formula based on population figures. States can distribute their funding to school districts based on their own primary funding formula or districts’ relative share of federal Title I funds.

Over the last two years, the Department has been able to support 300,000 education jobs through stimulus funding provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. At this time, seven states have drawn down 100 percent of previously allocated jobs funding, while 18 states total have drawn down 80 percent or more.  A July report from the independent Center on Education Policy found that 75 percent of school districts that received stimulus funds expect to cut teaching positions in the upcoming school year.

56 comments Add your comment

mathamaniac

August 31st, 2010
5:46 pm

The obvious question is whether this money will be used to re-hire any teachers laid off this year so class sizes can be reduced.

Hey Teacher

August 31st, 2010
5:52 pm

My question is if that money can be used to hire administrators or other “teaching support” type folks. I see every school getting another teaching support coach, graduation coach, secretary to the secretary of the underwater basket weaving support coach …. while our class sizes remain ridiculous.

catlady

August 31st, 2010
5:58 pm

I am guessing, like RTTT, that little will actually have a POSITIVE, DIRECT impact on Georgia’s children. Purdue and the “conservatives” in the state government have tripped all over themselves to get some of our grandchildren’s money, even as they curse Obama.

Doble Zero Eight

August 31st, 2010
6:13 pm

You don’t hear our two senators or the governor indicating the money should not be accepted. There is no consistency in their rhetoric or actions. Their talk was cheap as they were obviously grandstanding
regarding the deficit.

oldtimer

August 31st, 2010
6:20 pm

Vote buying at its best….

Attentive Parent

August 31st, 2010
6:42 pm

Hey Teacher-

The answer is yes but money has to go for employment. Any new hires will simply worsen next year’s situation unless you think the Chinese will keep loaning to us, Ben Bernanke will keep the printing press running, or local tax digests will recover in 2011.

Postponing the day of reckoning can make the crash worse.

ScienceTeacher671

August 31st, 2010
6:57 pm

We won’t fund education ourselves, but we’re all too happy to accept money borrowed from China (or whereever) with federal strings attached.

Ernest

August 31st, 2010
7:53 pm

Is this money intended for NEW jobs, which mean recurring costs that may not be funded in future years? Or is this intended to stabilize existing employement numbers with some combination of restoring salary cuts, retirement accounts, teacher workdays, etc? Even if the monies are used for restoring salary cuts, that will impact the budgets for FY2012.

catlady

August 31st, 2010
7:55 pm

Isn’t it funny that, for the most part, our state government moves VERY SLOWLY (see people who are waiting for their income tax refund, for example) but set new world’s records in getting to the trough!

M G

August 31st, 2010
7:56 pm

The Supt in Cobb has already said that he wants to use the money to restore salary increases and eliminate furlough days for Cobb employees.

All other districts need to follow this example.

Anna

August 31st, 2010
8:06 pm

I don’t want any of this money hitting the county’s bank account until we’ve cleared out all of the morons in the county office. Unfortunately, we will get money, they will say, “See? We’re doing fine. Please re-elect us.” And the people will forget all about how there are more people not directly affecting students than directly in our county.

bootney farnsworth

August 31st, 2010
8:09 pm

giving us this money is like giving a drunk a new bottle.

Samau

August 31st, 2010
8:14 pm

Maureen, is there any way you can get a clear answer on specifics? How will this help schools is teachers and salaries have already been determined for the 2010-2011 school year? Wouldnt it make sense for this money to be used NEXT year in order to retain teachers and not make any unnecessary RIFS and then subsequent rehires?

Samau

August 31st, 2010
8:14 pm

Mikey D

August 31st, 2010
8:26 pm

@Maureen -
Sorry that this is in the wrong blog, but I never got an answer on the other one so I thought I’d repost it here.
Would you be able to ask Erin Hames or sonny purdue directly why they are promoting and implementing the value-added component in light of the research report that you posted over the weekend? I am very curious to know how they will reconcile their ideology with this pretty solid research that contradicts it. Especially now that everything we are doing in education is required to be “research-based”.
Would you be willing to post their response here for us to see?
Thanks in advance.

AJinCobb

August 31st, 2010
8:49 pm

Wishing my child’s high school would use some of this money to hire back the good science teacher they RIFed last spring and rescue the unlucky students who it seems are pretty much going to be teaching themselves this year, since the replacement teacher’s methods seem haphazard and confused. But there’s probably no hope of that.

Atlanta Media Guy

August 31st, 2010
8:51 pm

Anna I agree with you. The state should not give DCSS a dime until they can prove the money will be spent at the school level only! No administrators at the palace, no frat bros. no sorority sisters, no New Birth Church members, no friends and NO family members should be hired with this money. NO more furlough days, put the money back into the teacher retirement plans, like the BOE promised and use the the rest to hire the necessary teachers! TEACHERS! to relieve the overcrowding of rooms.

Maureen Downey

August 31st, 2010
8:54 pm

@Mikey, I did talk to Erin about merit pay but prior to this policy brief. I am sure that she is aware of it, but not sure she is embracing it. There is some other research in support of merit pay. At this point, I think the state will be looking at multiple measures of teacher effectiveness, but I do think that test scores based on how much a student has progressed will be among the factors.
Maureen

Maureen Downey

August 31st, 2010
8:57 pm

Samau, It will be county by county decisions. Here is what we have reported thus far:

Cobb County Schools superintendent Fred Sanderson said he will recommend the district use Cobb’s share of the money — $20 million — to restore teacher salary cuts and two of the five furlough days Cobb put in place to help with its budget shortfall.

Fulton County’s allocation will be about $16 million, said district spokeswoman Allison Toller. She said Fulton schools superintendent Cindy Loe and the school board will discuss how to use the money at a board meeting Sept. 13.

“There is a possibility they will hold off making a final decision for a little while because there are real concerns that as we move into this school year, we’ll face further budget cuts because of a loss in state and local revenues,” Toller said.

Gwinnett County public schools will receive $30.2 million, said district spokeswoman Sloan Roach. The money will offset the loss of federal stimulus funding that will disappear after this year, Roach said. That money was used to preserve jobs in the Title I — a program that serves disadvantage schoolchildren — and special-needs areas.

DeKalb school board chairman Tom Bowen said the district has not decided how it will spend the $18.3 million it is receiving.

Attentive Parent

August 31st, 2010
8:57 pm

I had to think precisely where I read the explanation and I found it. You will see why this will likely make things worse long term but post 2010 election.

From the fed DOE site via Flypaper

“The bad news is that there’s no discretion:

C-11. May a State use Ed Jobs funds to make payments into a “rainy day fund” or for debt reduction?

No. A State may not use program funds, directly or indirectly, to establish, restore, or supplement a rainy day fund, or to supplant State funds in a manner that has this effect. Furthermore, a State may not use program funds, directly or indirectly, to reduce or retire debt obligations incurred by the State or to supplant State funds in a manner that has this effect.

It gets worse:

D-1. For what purposes may an LEA use its Ed Jobs funds?

An LEA must use its funds only for compensation and benefits and other expenses, such as support services, necessary to retain existing employees, to recall or rehire former employees, and to hire new employees, in order to provide early childhood, elementary, or secondary educational and related services.

Indeed, we can really only use this money “to pay the salaries of teachers and other employees who provide school-level educational and related services” as well as “principals, assistant principals, academic coaches, in-service teacher trainers, classroom aides, counselors, librarians, secretaries, social workers, psychologists, interpreters, physical therapists, speech therapists, occupational therapists, information technology personnel, nurses, athletic coaches, security officers, custodians, maintenance workers, bus drivers, and cafeteria workers.” You can use the money “to restore reductions in salaries and benefits and to implement salary increases for the 2010-2011 school year.”

Feeling better yet?

Me neither.

catlady

August 31st, 2010
9:02 pm

Ask Erin how she can be sure we are getting true measures of student growth. For example, we have a lot of kids blow the tests off–there is no down-side. Now if, like bloodwork, you could get a fairly accurate measure, it might be different, but with actual PEOPLE, there are many factors JUST ON THAT DAY OF THE TEST that can depress the scores, and cause them not to show what kids actually know how to do. UNTIL THAT corundum is solved, test results are NOT the way to go.

Devil's Advocate

August 31st, 2010
9:05 pm

It’s amazing, and sad, how teachers on this blog find research they like “solid”, but any research they disagree with “questionable”. What a silly, obvious double standard.

HStchr

August 31st, 2010
9:16 pm

What this money will do for many districts is allow them to hopefully reduce furlough days and other paycuts for teachers they were able to keep. In systems where furloughs were not as heavily used, there might be opportunities to rehire teachers. But beyond this school year is anyone’s guess. I hope there will be strict requirements as to what personnel this money is allowed to be used to pay.

another comment

August 31st, 2010
9:20 pm

The real problem is the entitlement mentality parents. I am so upset and pissed. I just left my daughters 50% free lunch high school, 40% black,40% hispanic, 12% white, 5% Asian, 3% other, with the county IB programs; mandatory Cheerleading parent meeting. The cheer squads have about 75% ghetto black girls that fight each other, a couple high acheiving black girls and a 2-3 of white or mixed girls each. No hispanic or asian girls on them. All last season we got e-mails from the coach that parents girls had to pay for there stuff or do fundraising, ( very minimal amounts). It was ridiculous. Before tryouts this year in March there was a Pre-tryout meeting that everyone was told that cheerleading was an expensive sport, but they had done everything to to cut the costs, but they were trying to give everyone a heads up that they would need to pay $600 by May 17, 2010 or don’t even bother to have your daughter tryout. If they were trying out for two teams, ie competition it would be more up to that again. Some girls who had gear from the prevous year. They also stated how in order to hold down costs they had arranged to hold the Mandatory week of Summer Cheer Camp at the school rather than go to Auburn or UGA ( my kid was looking forward to going to Auburn or UGA like the other schools do, so this really stunk). So imagine my shock an dismay when they announce that after they had cut the Booster Club dues from $100 to $60 this year that only 7 people had paid their childs booster club fees to date, August 31, 2010.

I was one of these fools. One women has the audacity to raise her hand and claim that her income had been cut back ( like everyones hasn’t) and anyways they had not given a deadline for payment. I promptly raised my hand, and said “excuse me, I am absolutely sick with this team and the rules not being enforced. It was clearly stated at the pretryout meeting that there would be a Mandatory camp, apparel, fees and booster dues adding up to approx. $600 that had to be paid by May 17, 2010.”

One woman had the audacity to say in the Public School our children are entiled to a free education, we don’t have to pay any mandatory fees, you can’t make us pay anything. Who ever said they get a free entilement to be on the cheerleading squad and the booster club to provide them with a christmas party, end of year banquet, trophey,

I then said ” If that is the case then I want a refund of my $60 to this booster club, because I am not paying for freeloaders”.

The Booster Vice President ( because she doesn’t think the President wants to be involved this year) then stated, ah that is another problem, Cobb County won’t give us a seperate Bank Account, they make us go through about 10 people and drive like 30 miles to have access to our money. Ah Ah!!. I said “you can refund my money to me, if Cobb County is not going to make it Mandatory to participate, and others are going to particapate for free, I am sure I already pay more than my fair share of taxes.”

I had one black women come up to me at the end and say, your understand is exactly what I understood. Obviously, she was one of the other 6 other people who had paid.

What makes this even worse, the first part of the meeting the head coach went on about how you would not cheer with acrylic nails, tatoos showing from your uniform, piercings other than one earing ( belly, nose, eye brow ), outlandish hair styles ( weaves) amazingly all of these things cost alot of money. Every one of these parents and their offspring have the latest cellphone too. But they aren’t paying these fees. Get this they wanted the Booster club dues to pay for the pregame meals for the girls, instead of them volunteering to bring them in. The coach who had been rif’d and gotten her job at the last minute last year explained that on many occassions last year when the parents didn’t show up with the food she was stuck buying 6-7 pizza’s for the girls. Hint Hint, they could at least use there food stamp card and bring in make some sandwiches for the team, and chips, instead of selling it for booze or drugs.

This was pathetic and absolutely, sick. The biggest determination of the success of a school is the lower percentage of free lunch students.

Cobb Mom

August 31st, 2010
9:21 pm

Below is a link to the Cobb Superintendent’s statement regarding RT3 (explains why Cobb did not participate) and the Education Jobs Bill:

http://cobbcast.cobbk12.org/?p=2342

Based on this statement the plan will be to restore step increases and two furlough days, not to hire new personnel, because there will not be funds next year to pay newly hired personnel. I don’t see how this will have a big impact on classroom learning except maybe it improves teacher morale some and this benefits students. Also I suppose teachers will spend a little more if the income they lost is restored, possibly helping the local economy.

The rate of spending and borrowing by the federal government right now is truly frightening. But they are going to spend the $10 billion (!!!) whether GA takes any money or not, right? I’m at least happy to see some of my tax dollars benefiting teachers in my own state and district since the Jobs Bill does not seem to have strings attached.

Hey Teacher

August 31st, 2010
9:27 pm

Catlady — I teach seniors. How the heck am I supposed to measure growth when they all mentally check out second semester? I’m lucky to get them OUT of school. Period.

Devil's Advocate

August 31st, 2010
9:39 pm

another – thanks for the pointless, racist vent. Hope you feel better.

Teacher/Learner

August 31st, 2010
9:40 pm

“@Mikey, I did talk to Erin about merit pay but prior to this policy brief. I am sure that she is aware of it, but not sure she is embracing it. There is some other research in support of merit pay. At this point, I think the state will be looking at multiple measures of teacher effectiveness, but I do think that test scores based on how much a student has progressed will be among the factors.
Maureen”

@Maureen again, will you ask Erin about the SPECIFIC research studies that show evidence that using standardized test scores as a performance pay indicator increases student achievement in the deep thinking described by the Common Core State Standards as necessary for students to succeed in college? I’ve tried every search possible and cannot find this research! Instead, the research points to the same conclusions held in the EPI report. Direct citations will be appreciated. I can find the journals and read the research. Am not going to hold my breath until the references appear.

SAVE DEKALB SCHOOLS

August 31st, 2010
9:54 pm

What is the point of Dekalb Schools recieving the funds from RTTT when the very same administration remains the overseers. The very same people who said nothing when monies have been wasted, stolen, taken, abused and has yet to be accounted for, during and under their lack management. Aren’t we going in circles here?

Bloodbike

August 31st, 2010
10:08 pm

Take the money!

Really amazed

August 31st, 2010
10:17 pm

The money isn’t the answer!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It will just make entitlement even greater!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The people that freeload will just do it even more if they know more funds are available. This isn’t rocket science!

SAVE DEKALB SCHOOLS

August 31st, 2010
10:19 pm

@another comment. Sad scenario but sometimes true. Also sad but true, this is the miserable result of the mentality of those who, deprived of an education back in the day, which so often happened, that now hurts us all. Often perpetuated from generation to generation for some families. There also are others, such as myself and many, many families out there, who understand, contribute, volunteer both time and money, encourage and aide in many, many ways in various schools. Just thought it would be wise for you to know.

SAVE DEKALB SCHOOLS

August 31st, 2010
10:26 pm

Their is so much to be covered up in DCSS that there is NO WAY they can know where to begin. Too many fires to put out. Too many crooks handling the funds. Every red cent must be accounted for.

South Ga Teacher180

August 31st, 2010
10:37 pm

screw Dekalb….my school system did their job at teaching the standards…where is the extra money for those schools that actually perform and consistently make AYP…seems as if we are rewarding failure instead of success…I guess this is the new AmeriKan Way ( USSA: United Soviets States of AmeriKa).

Burroughston Broch

August 31st, 2010
11:59 pm

I cannot find words to express my contempt for this Federal largesse, since my children and grandchildren must pay for it.

If I thought the public schools needed more money, I would gladly pay it in property taxes. Since they all have proved that they cannot provide better performance when provided more money (Atlanta Public Schools being the best example), then I am not inclined to give them any more.

On top of everything else, there will be strings attached to this money that will end up costing Georgia taxpayers a bunch.

As for hiring more teachers, since almost every system’s enrollment is steady or falling, why are more teachers needed? And why are more non-teaching staff needed? The public schools are first and foremost a jobs program, with education being a sideline. It’s just like the chief financial officer of a cheap furniture store chain said, “We are in the business of financing and repossessing goods – the goods just happen to be furniture. It could just as easily be cars.”

Wonder how long it will take Roy Barnes to claim some credit?

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Attentive Parent

September 1st, 2010
6:00 am

The National Council on Teacher Quality looked into how the amount -$10 billion nationally- and recipients-proportional regardless of need or plans for layoffs. Can you say thin air?

Here’s their research:

“We also decided to call the Council of Economic Advisors, the folks charged with coming up with the projections for the bill, to find out how it arrived at the 160,000 estimate. It turns out the numbers its cited were not based on any actual need reported by districts or their states. They never surveyed districts on how many layoffs they were facing nor did they collect data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Rather, the 160,000 figure is simply based on how many jobs $10 billion could fund. By borrowing against such ‘expendable’ expenses as food stamps, Congress came up the with $10 billion figure and the White House calculated how many jobs $10 billion could support–which is not the same thing at all as jobs $10 billion could save.

The way the funding works, not surprising to anyone familiar with federal funding, is that each state, regardless of need or how hard hit its schools were, then received a proportional share.

Of course, as most by now know, that is not how this issue has been presented to the public. Even when questioned by USA Today’s Greg Toppo on how the figures came about, Arne Duncan said, “We think this number is fairly solid, and this is based upon actual — you know the need and cuts we’re seeing around the country.”

Many questions remain: Was this a handout to the unions? Will states that have avoided layoffs by other cost saving measures increase their payrolls this year, only to have to lay off their new hires next year when funds dry up? Time will tell.”

Perhaps this is a typical gift to certain constituents in an election year so that political opponents can be attacked next year when there is no Edujobs (2010) or Stimulus money (2009) covering up the depths of the fiscal woes.

teacher&mom

September 1st, 2010
6:45 am

Higher taxes are right around the corner. I would much rather pay higher state taxes than federal taxes.

teacher&mom

September 1st, 2010
6:47 am

Attentive Parent is right…this is an election year ploy.

Northview (Ex)teacher

September 1st, 2010
6:53 am

I’m so glad I am getting out of this inbred, redneck state.

$322 million for education jobs | KVM-News

September 1st, 2010
8:08 am

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Mac

September 1st, 2010
8:56 am

The real problem will come when our esteemed legislators and Governor deduct roughly the same amount from the overall education budget later this year after the money has been distributed. I would lay odds it will basically wind up being a wash for the districts in the long run.

catlady

September 1st, 2010
9:03 am

I am guessing in my system it will be used for some other administrator. This year I am losing about $5000 because of 10 days shorter year plus 2 furlough days. (However, we are not raising taxes (16.25 mils) and the tax digest is down almost 20%). Last year I lost about $2000. I want to see, in explicit detail, where this money goes (who gets fat).

BTW, my low income (70% FRL) has met AYP every year in every subgroup. And for the last several years every school in the county has. Yet this is how the teachers are treated–refused to raise the millage rate .25 to save those 2 additional days!

Awful, Awful, Awful

September 1st, 2010
9:27 am

another comment

August 31st, 2010
9:20 pm

Another comment – What you said, I have no doubt, is absolutely true. This plays out in more schools than you would think. This entitlement mentality is one of the things working to kill our public school systems. It all goes back to the “Political Correctness” thing……don’t criticize blacks……they’ll holler “Racism” and then we’re in a big mess. One thing most parents don’t realize is……”funds for sports and other activities have to come from booster clubs. Taxes cannot be used.”

Devil’s Advocate

August 31st, 2010
9:39 pm
another – thanks for the pointless, racist vent. Hope you feel better.

Devil’s Advocate – It’s not “Racist” if it’s true!!!!!

Samau

September 1st, 2010
10:27 am

Maureen, any news on what Paulding or Douglas will do with their money? Is there a link to find this information? Do all districts get it?

Devil's Advocate

September 1st, 2010
10:59 am

Awful – there are scumbags across the races, being a scumbag is not the exclusive domain of any ethnic group. So, you are just a racist.

Allen

September 1st, 2010
11:01 am

“DeKalb school board chairman Tom Bowen said the district has not decided how it will spend the $18.3 million it is receiving.”

I guess there’s only 9 people in the whole county who don’t see how this money MUST be spent.

@Devil

September 1st, 2010
1:06 pm

Chill out grumpy. People SPEAK YOUR MINDS!!

Fundad

September 1st, 2010
1:55 pm

It ticks me off that the money has to leave here, go to Washington, and then after much begging and cajolling, the “Political Poobas” bestow a sprinkling of our money back to us to buy us off. We should just be SOOO thankful for our imperial fed guv looking out for our interests. What would we ever do without them?