For months, talk of the availability of federal stimulus funds has been just thatâ€”talk. In recent weeks, however, it has become official that Area Education Agencies and local school districts will receive a boost with stimulus funding. Specifically, AEA 267 will receive approximately $7,350,000 in stimulus dollars for use over two years.
The government has outlined four guiding principles for the use of the stimulus dollars:
- Spend quickly to save and create jobs
- Ensure transparency and accountability
- Thoughtfully invest in one-time funds
- Advance effective reforms
AEA 267â€™s use of stimulus dollars will be aligned with district needs. A careful examination of the following data resources is taking place:
- 2008 on-line survey of AEA 267â€™s Comprehensive Service Improvement Plan taken by 59 of 60 districts
- Summary report of 60 AEA leadership team visits to each of our 60 school districts and their leadership or school improvement team
- All 60 LEA Comprehensive School Improvement Plans (CSIPs) and Annual Progress Reports (APRs)
- DE LEA Site Visit Reports (as available); and
- other student achievement data.
Planning will move swiftly so that the money can be put to use as quickly as possible. It is hoped that by next month an official list of priorities and initiatives can be shared with all staff and the public.
â€œThis additional funding will allow us to retain our current work force and add positions in priority areas for the next two years,â€ said Dr. Dean Meier, chief administrator. â€œWhile the funding is short-term, it does provide us with an exciting opportunity to see what can be done to increase student achievement with additional resources. We feel fortunate to be in this position.â€
It is unclear whether additional funding will be available after the two years are up.