March 27, 2009
Allowable Uses of ARRA Funds
ARRA INFORMATION FROM STATE SUPERINTENDENT PATRICIA I. WRIGHT
I appreciate the time so many of you took on Wednesday to join the Virginia Department of Education's conference call to explain our understanding of the processes and procedures required to administer the funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). All of us have received so much information about the Act in writing, that sometimes it is beneficial to actually explain the details in person. Understanding your questions also helps the Department make better decisions about the degree to which additional clarification may need to be provided.
As I indicated in my call, this e-mail transmits two attachments that I hope you will find helpful:
- A PowerPoint file that inserts Virginia data and information into a presentation delivered by Mr. Mike Smith at a recent conference of the National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE). You may recall that Mr. Smith's presentation (with federal information) was included in a Supts e-mail that I sent to you on March 23, 2009. The updated version included with this e-mail contains data and budget information unique to Virginia.
- A document that outlines the allowable and nonallowable uses of the ARRA State Fiscal Stabilization Funds (SFSF). These funds may be used for:
- Modernization, renovation, or repair of public school facilities, or
- Any activity authorized under any and/or all of these four acts:
- The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) – all titles
- The Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA)
- The Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006
- The Adult Education and Family Literacy Act
These four acts offer a broad range of allowable uses for the SFSF funds and should provide an opportunity for school divisions to use the funds with the conditions noted by the Secretary of Education:
- Spend them quickly to save and create jobs;
- Use them to improve student achievement and help close the achievement gap;
- Prepare for additional and more rigorous reporting requirements than normally apply to grant recipients; and
- Recognize that the funds are available for only two to three years and should be invested in ways that do not result in unsustainable continuing commitments after the funding expires.
If you have further questions about specific uses of funds, I would refer you to the guidance provided by the United States Department of Education on its ARRA Website at: http://www.ed.gov/policy/gen/leg/recovery/index.html. Additionally, I have provided links to the various acts listed above that provide details about allowable uses under each:
- The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) – http://www.ed.gov/policy/elsec/leg/esea02/index.html
- The Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) - http://idea.ed.gov/explore/view/p/%2Croot%2Cstatute%2C
- The Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006 - http://www.ed.gov/policy/sectech/leg/perkins/index.html
- The Adult Education and Family Literacy Act of 1998 - http://www.ed.gov/policy/adulted/leg/legis.html
Thank you for the time you and your staff members have taken to understand the provisions of the law and to use the funds most effectively for Virginia students.
b. ARRA Use of Funds Summary (PDF)