2009-10: ‌Stimulating Equity? The Impact of the American Recovery and Reinvestme

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Center for Educational Equity

Stimulating Equity? The Impact of the Federal Stimulus Act on Educational Opportunity

2/8/2010 ~ 2/9/2010 at Cowin Center, Teachers College.

The fifth annual equity symposium, “Stimulating Equity?: The Impact of the Federal Stimulus Act on Educational Opportunity,” to be held February 8 and 9, 2010 at Teachers College, will mark one of the first major national forums to analyze, in-depth, the impact of the ARRA ( the federal “stimulus bill” ) on educational equity and on educational opportunity.

The stated purpose of the ARRA education funds is to stabilize the education budgets of the states, allow states to continue to fund equity and adequacy initiatives in state funding formulae, and to “boost student achievement.” By accepting this funding, each state has committed to promoting four essential areas of reform: 1) improving teacher effectiveness; 2) making progress toward college and career-ready standards and rigorous assessments; 3) enhancing data systems to track educational practice; and 4) improving achievement in low-performing schools.

Through the Recovery Act, the U.S. Department of Education (USDOE) is expected to distribute approximately $100 billion over the next two years to states, school districts, and higher education institutions. The availability of this enormous increase in federal funding, and the fact that the USDOE has focused on four critical priority areas for the use of the funds, provides an extraordinary opportunity to advance educational equity nationwide. Yet, there remain five major potential obstacles to its effective implementation:

 

  • Governors, who have extensive discretion in how these funds are allocated, may use the stabilization funds to cover deficits instead of improving students’ opportunities in the four priority areas.
  • Although the overall aim is to eliminate achievement gaps, the funds may be distributed in a way that compromises, rather than enhances, equity.
  • USDOE has made clear that these funds as a one-time opportunity tied to economic stimulus. States must, therefore, use the funds in a way that promote significant reform without establishing on-going programs or raising expectations that this level of funding will continue.
  • The Act does not take into account educational funding realities and needs at the local level. Even if state education budgets are stabilized or increased, revenue problems and declining property tax bases may lead to severe budget shortfalls.
  • Historically, states and schools districts have not proved adept in efficiently and effectively utilizing large funding increases that are provided on short notice.

The February symposium will examine each of these issues by presenting nationwide analyses of how the stimulus funds have been used, case study examples of effective and ineffective uses of the funds, and explorations of the long-term implications of this massive spending experience on the role of the federal government in promoting educational equity and educational reform. We expect to do so by presenting broad-based policy research studies; academic research papers; and model approaches for promoting equity, advancing meaningful education reform, and “avoiding the cliff.”

Session Videos

The following are rough edits of the Symposium sessions.

The video is being served as Quicktime MOV files. You will need a copy of the free Quicktime Player to download and view these videos.

Edward G. Rendell, Governor, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

Susan Fuhrman, President of Teachers College

Jack Jennings, President and CEO, Center on Educational Policy

Jessica Wolff, Policy Director, Center for Educational Equity (formerly Campaign for Educational Equity)

Daniel Yaverbaum, Researcher, Center for Educational Equity (formerly Campaign for Educational Equity)

Luis Huerta, Associate Professor of Education, Teachers College

The Impact of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) on Educational Equity and Innovation.

Jack Jenings, President and CEO, Center on Educational Equity

Jessica Wolff, Policy Director, Center for Educational Equity (formerly Campaign for Educational Equity)

Daniel Yaverbaum, Researcher, Center for Educational Equity (formerly Campaign for Educational Equity)

Bruce Baker, Associate Professor, Rutgers University

David Sciarra, Executive Director, Education Law Center

Luis Huerta, Associate Professor of Education, Teachers College

Joseph Martin, Executive Director, Georgia School Funding Association

Timothy Mitchell, Superintendent, Chamberlain School District 7-1, South Dakota

Candace Cortiella, Director, Advocacy Institute;

Michele McNeil, Assistant Editor, Education Week

Photeine Anagnostopolous, Chief Operating Officer

Alison Avera, Deputy Chief Operating Officer New York City Department of Education

Dan Lowengard, Superintendent, Syracuse City School District

Mary Anne Schmitt-Carey, President, Say Yes to Education Glynda Carr, Executive Director, Education Voters of New York

Geri Palast, Executive Director, Campaign for Fiscal Equity

Moderator: Jennifer Medina, Reporter, The New York Times

Russlynn Ali, Assistant Secretary, Office for Civil Rights, United States Department of Education

Maris Vinovskis, Professor of History, University of Michigan

Carl Kaestle, Professor Emeritus of Education, History and Public Policy Brown University

Elizabeth De Bray, Associate Professor, University of Georgia

Thomas James, Provost and Dean, Teachers College, Columbia University

Michael Rebell, Executive Director, Center for Educational Equity (formerly Campaign for Educational Equity)

Jamienne Studley, President and CEO, Public Advocates, Inc.

Ted Shaw, Professor of Practice in Law, Columbia Law School

Mitchell Chester, Commissioner of Education, Massachusetts Jack Jennings, President and CEO, Center on Educational Policy

John Merrow, President, Learning Matters, & Education Correspondent, PBS NewsHour