State Capitol
Press Release
April 28, 2009
Oregon receives $382 million for schools and government services through ARRA
Governor announced $171 million will be used immediately to help preserve Oregon education during the current biennium
 
(Salem) - Today the United States Department of Education (USDOE) awarded approximately $382 million to Oregon under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act through the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund (SFSF) program. 
 
Governor Kulongoski and the Oregon Legislature have designated $171 million of this first round of funding for K-12 schools districts and post secondary education in the current 2007-09 biennium. This first installment of the SFSF is designed to provide immediate financial support to schools as a result of recent cuts to K-12 and other education funding and will help school districts avoid closing early this school year.
 
“These dollars come at a much-needed time to help local school districts, community colleges, and public universities continue to provide a quality education during this economic downturn,” said Governor Kulongoski. “While this funding is a critical part of Oregon’s safety net, there is no escaping the reality of our current economic climate and the fact that these dollars will not supplement the state’s budget shortfall.”
 
Oregon is receiving $382 million today per the State's successful completion of Part 1 of the State Stabilization Application, which was made available April 1. Eighty-two percent of these funds are to be distributed to public elementary, secondary, and higher education institutions, with the remaining 18 percent to be available for education, school modernization, public safety, or other government services. Oregon will be eligible to apply for another $188 million in state stabilization funds early this fall.
 
"These stimulus funds are designed to do two things: help our schools make it through this current budget crisis and invest in the long-term strength of our nation through school reforms that boost student achievement. Our schools now have a rare opportunity to build upon our work to ensure all students graduate ready for life," said Superintendent Castillo.
 
In order to receive today's funds, Oregon provided assurances that they will collect, publish, analyze and act on basic information regarding the quality of classroom teachers, annual student improvements, college readiness, the effectiveness of state standards and assessments, progress on removing charter caps, and interventions in turning around underperforming schools.
 
Oregon is also required by the U.S. Department of Education to report the number of jobs saved through Recovery Act funding, the amount of state and local tax increases averted, and how funds are used.
 
The Governor remains committed to his fiscal plan that he released in February that outlines how the state should allocate funding from the federal recovery package, state Education Stability Fund and state Rainy Day Fund. 
 
With the nearly $400 million in federal recovery dollars already appropriated by the Governor and Legislature and for education and human services to help balance the budget for the 2007-09 fiscal year, that leaves approximately $900 million for use for the  first half of the biennium – 2009-2010 – and another $900 million for the second half of the biennium – 2010-2011.
 
“We must use these dollars prudently,” the Governor continued. “We must plan wisely and for the long-term, allocating federal assistance and our reserves in a way that helps manage the current shortfall but also leaves some to fall back on if revenues continue to decline.”
 
  
Contacts:
Anna Richter Taylor, 503-378-6169
Courtney Warner (The Oregon Way), 503-378-3554
Susanne Smith (OR Dept of Ed), 503-947-5637

Page updated: April 28, 2009


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