<br>More Than $2 Billion In Recovery Funds Now Available For Texas To Save Jobs And Drive Reform
The Texas Democratic Congressional Delegation announced today that Texas Public School teachers will receive an $800 pay raise through more than $2 billion now available for Texas under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009. The raises will be included in school budgets for this upcoming school year.
This funding will lay the foundation for a generation of education reform and help save hundreds of thousands of teaching jobs at risk of state and local budget cuts. Texas will be eligible to apply for another $1 billion this fall. Today's funding is being made available per Texas's successful completion of Part 1 of the State Stabilization Application, which was made available on April 1st.
Congressman Rubén Hinojosa said, These historic federal investments made possible by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 will help provide relief to our local school systems and make certain that they continue to increase access to a high quality education for all students. I am hopeful that Texas will continue to provide the U.S. Department of Education with the assurances required to ensure that we are making progress in reforming our educational system and doing what is necessary to prepare our young people for college and beyond.
Congressman Chet Edwards said, This is great news for Texas teachers. These funds will not only give Texas public school teachers a much-deserved pay raise, it will save jobs, and help school districts budget for the upcoming school year. Ensuring our teachers, students, and schools have the resources they need during these tough economic times will help our children succeed, strengthen our economy over the long term, and invest in reform of our education system.
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said, The Recovery Act was designed to meet two critical challenges: rescue the economy from the immediate peril it faces and invest in the building blocks of a strong economy. The Recovery Act investments in our students and our schools will have a huge payoff in the years ahead. The $2 billion Texas will receive today is part of the single largest boost in education funding in recent history. The President's leadership and support from Congress have made this historic investment possible. Texas can now utilize these funds to save jobs and lay the groundwork for a generation of education reform.
To date, Texas has received $1.7 billion in education stimulus fundsrepresenting a combination of funding for Title I, IDEA, Vocational Rehabilitation Grants, Independent Living Grants, Impact Aid and Government Services funds. On April 1st, Texas received more than $474 million in Title I funding and nearly $505 million in IDEA funding. This represents 50 percent of the Title I and IDEA funding Texas is eligible for in total. On April 1, Texas also received more than $22 million in Vocational Rehab funds and more than $3 million in Independent Living funds. On April 10, Texas received nearly $7 million in Impact Aid funding.
Congressman Solomon P. Ortiz said, As dean of the Texas Democratic Delegation, I am elated to know of today's $800 raise for school teachers throughout our state. This raise, which is made available through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, will help educators pay for their day-to-day living expenses. With the high prices of gas, groceries, and other basic life necessities, I find it important for U.S. representatives from Texas to work together with state government officials to ensure we are providing funding to all who needed--especially our educators go give their heart and soul for a better Texas.
Congress passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act so that our schools and teachers would have the funding to prepare our children and be properly equipped to do their jobs. The $2 billion for Texas's State Stabilization Fund that was approved today will go a long way towards retaining our teachers and educating our children, said Rep. Gene Green. Texas needs further ARRA money to ensure that we continue to provide the best education for our children and our teachers receive the additional funds they need to do their jobs well.
Texas schools have been waiting on good government to meet their needs and deliver real results. These federal dollars will raise teachers' salaries and make a difference in the classroom, where we need it most. Our schools and our teachers deserve every dollar coming their way, said Congressman Cuellar. With these dollars we make sure our schools don't get left behind. And this is another example of how the Recovery Act will help get America back on track and invest in the state's priorities during these hard economic times.
I am proud that I voted for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, landmark legislation that addresses the critical needs in our national education system, Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson said. I pledge to work with my colleagues in Congress, Secretary Duncan, and state and local officials to ensure that we continue to invest in students and save and create education jobs across Texas.
In order to receive today's funds, Texas provided assurances that it 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.
Texas is also required by the 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.