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Idaho Schools Could Receive $51 Million through Federal Jobs Bill

Written By onci on Friday, August 13, 2010 | 10:31 AM

Idaho is estimated to receive $51 million in federal funding from the $10 billion Education Jobs Fund that Congress approved and the President signed into law this week. The funding is expected to flow to states within the next 45 days. 

According to the U.S. Department of Education, states will be able to use the money on salaries and benefits for K-12 employees at the school level. The funding cannot be spent on district-level administration, higher education, or rainy day funds.

The U.S. Department of Education released official guidance for the Education Jobs Fund today.  States will have until September 9, 2010 to submit applications for the funding.  The U.S. Department of Education has said it will work to approve state applications within two weeks of receiving them.  

In the coming days, the State Department of Education and the Office of the Governor will be working closely with the U.S. Department of Education to nail down estimates for how much each local district will receive and to ensure Idaho meets the maintenance of effort requirements in the legislation.

Here are a few answers to some of the frequently asked questions we have received from school districts across Idaho.
 
What are the allowable uses for the funds? According to the U.S. Department of Education, the funding CAN be used for school-level personnel. Examples include: principals, assistant principals, teachers, paraprofessionals, bus drivers, foodservice personnel, counselors, school nurses, and librarians, to name a few. The money CANNOT be used for district-level administrative costs or personnel, higher education, or rainy day funds. 
 
Can the funding be used to restore furlough days?  Yes. Officials from the U.S. Department of Education said funds can be used to “eliminate furlough days and pay decreases” for personnel at the school level.

How long will districts have to spend the money? Districts will have up to 27 months to spend funds from the Education Jobs Fund. States must distribute the funds to local school districts in the 2010-2011 school year, and districts will have flexibility to spend the funds in FY2011 and FY2012. 

The State Department of Education will have more information available after we review the official guidance and state application. We’ll keep you posted! 

~ Melissa M. 

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