Congressman John Garamendi

Representing the 3rd District of California
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Recovery Act Still Working for California, Garamendi Says Following Announcement that CA Education to Receive Additional $500 Million

August 17, 2010
Press Release

Recovery Act Already Responsible for more than 47,000 Education Jobs in California

FAIRFIELD, CA – Congressman John Garamendi (D-Walnut Creek, CA) today is pleased to announce that California schools are scheduled to receive an additional $487 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds distributed by the U.S. Department of Education. To date, California has received more than $10 billion through the ARRA. The state recently reported that recovery dollars have been used to provide funding for more than 47,000 education jobs from April 1 to June 30, 2010.  

"Our public schools are the incubators of the next generation of Californians. We must continue to invest in education and our nation's future," said Congressman Garamendi, a former University of California regent and California State University trustee. "Multiple studies have shown one consistent rule in education reform: class size matters. Every teacher we layoff harms hundreds of students who suffer from reduced individual attention. This $487 million from ARRA will help California avoid more drastic cuts."

Last week, the House of Representatives returned from the August district work period to vote on H.R. 1586, the Education Jobs and Medicaid Assistance Act. This critical legislation, which passed with only two Republicans in support, is keeping 16,500 California teachers in the classroom. Nationwide, 161,000 teachers will keep their jobs. In anticipation of increased federal support, Vallejo City Unified School District rehired 59 teachers this month.

"Every student of history will tell you that great societies become history when they give up on education. That’s why this Congress went back to Washington this month to do the right thing for the millions of American families with school-aged children," Garamendi added. "16,500 more teachers are available in California to teach our youth because of the Education Jobs and Medicaid Assistance Act."

In addition to the more than $487 million announced today, ARRA has already provided more than $10 billion to California with more than $23 billion allocated. Prior to today’s announcement, California had received the following in education support through ARRA:

  • $5.5 billion in State Fiscal Stabilization funds to:
    • Help stabilize state and local government budgets in order to minimize and avoid reductions in education and other essential public services.
    • Help ensure that local educational agencies (LEAs) and public institutions of higher education (IHEs) have the resources to avert cuts and retain educational personnel and staff.
    • Help support the modernization, renovation, and repair of school and college facilities.
    • Help advance reforms, from early learning through post-secondary education, to benefit students and families.
  • $1.9 billion in Pell Grants have been awarded to students attending schools in California. Pell Grants are awarded based on student applications, not by state. The Federal Pell Grant Program provides need-based grants to low-income undergraduate and certain postbaccalaureate students to promote access to postsecondary education. The additional funding allowed the Department of Education to raise the maximum Pell award from $4,731 to $5,350. 
  • $1.3 billion in IDEA funds to help ensure that children with disabilities, including children aged three through five, have access to a free appropriate public education to meet each child's unique needs and prepare him or her for further education, employment, and independent living. This money will also make early intervention services available to infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families.
  • $1.1 billion in Title I funds to support schools that have high concentrations of students from families that live in poverty in order to help improve teaching and learning for students most at risk of failing to meet state academic achievement standards.
  • $350 million in School Improvement Grants to support the transformational changes that are needed to turn around the nation's persistently lowest-achieving schools by using rigorous school intervention models.
  • $72 million in Education Technology Grants to improve student academic achievement through the use of technology in schools. It is also designed to help ensure that every student is technologically literate by the end of eighth grade and to encourage the effective integration of technology with teacher training and curriculum development.
  • $56 million in additional funding to the Vocational Rehabilitation State Grants program to help individuals with disabilities, especially those individuals with the most significant disabilities, prepare for, obtain, and maintain employment.
  • $21 million in Work Study funds have been awarded to students attending schools in California, providing colleges and universities with additional funding to provide jobs to students to help with their college and living expenses.
  • $16 million in Independent Living Services Funds to support services to individuals with significant disabilities and older individuals who are blind to maximize their leadership, empowerment, independence, and productivity, and to promote the integration and full inclusion of individuals with disabilities into the mainstream of American society.
  • $14 million in McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance funds to address the educational and related needs of some of the most vulnerable members of our society – homeless children and youth – during a time of economic crisis in the United States.
  • $8 million in Teacher Quality Partnerships grants to improve student achievement; improve the quality of new prospective teachers by improving their preparation and enhancing professional development activities for teachers; hold teacher preparation programs at institutions of higher education accountable for preparing highly qualified teachers; and recruit highly qualified individuals, including minorities and individuals from other occupations, into the teaching force.
  • $3 million in Impact Aid funds for school facility planning, construction, and repair.