Two weeks ago the President signed into law a $26 billion dollar stimulus package. Part of that aid package was the Education Jobs Fund (Ed Jobs) program, a new federal program providing a one-time appropriation of $10 billion in assistance to States to save or create education jobs for the 2010-2011 school year. Of that $10 billion, Iowa’s portion looks to be $96,490,048. The bill passed the House on a near party-line vote after representatives were called back to session during the August recess to consider it.
An email from the Iowa Department of Education was sent out shortly after enactment detailing the main points of the bill.
- The funding must be used for K-12 teacher salaries, benefits, and other expenses such as support services to retain existing employees, rehire positions or create new positions.
- This funding cannot be used for administrative expenses.
- The funding will be distributed using weighted enrollment from the state aid formula. Fund distributions will follow the regular state aid payment cycle.
- All funding will be distributed to K-12 school districts in state FY11.
- This funding is for K-12 school districts only, per the federal statute.
Since that initial email additional details have been figured out and provided.
Ed Jobs authorizes school districts to use Ed Jobs funds 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 at the school building level. They may use the funds to pay the salaries of teachers and other employees who provide building-level educational and related services.
The Iowa Dept of Ed plans to capture 0.2% of the money for administrative costs, with the remaining portion being distributed to school districts. The distributed portion of the money will be dispersed in FY11, with the intent being to begin distribution in the September if the money is available by then. The Department of Ed will use the state aid formula to calculate the amount each district will receive. Those amounts can be found on their website.
This additional amount of money means school districts will receive four state aid distributions on the state aid payment schedule:
- regular state aid,
- ARRA SFSF Education Fund distribution;
- ARRA SFSF Government Services Fund distribution, and
- Education Jobs distribution.
For assurance, reporting requirements in the bill are that states using the Ed Jobs money must apply all ARRA reporting and accountability provisions to the use and distribution of Ed Jobs funds. Reporting is required quarterly starting in September (or December if funding starts later) and school districts will use current state ARRA reporting system. Included in the reports will be data on jobs created, jobs saved, uses of funds, and amount of funds expended. School districts must maintain records that separately track and account for Ed Jobs funds.
The funds are available for obligations that occur as of August 10, 2010 and must be spent by September 30, 2012.
Additional details can be found on the Iowa Dept of Ed’s website.