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Conflicting Missions and Unclear Results: Lessons from the Education Stimulus Funds

"Nearly two years after the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) provided more than $100 billion in stimulus funding for public education in the United States, the net impact on school improvement is still undetermined. According to a new study from Bellwether Education Partners, the to-date results of ARRA significantly lag behind the ambitious education intentions of the law.

"The ARRA has played an important role in closing district budget gaps created by state and local revenue losses, sustaining education spending, and saving jobs," Conflicting Missions and Unclear Results: Lessons from the Education Stimulus Funds states. "But that success in closing state and local budget gaps is only temporary; districts will face even greater pain once funds go away. And ARRA's largest funding streams - the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund, Title I, and IDEA - have had only limited reform impact."

In Conflicting Missions and Unclear Results, released today, Bellwether's Sara Mead and Andrew Rotherham and Education First Consulting's Anand Vaishnav and William Porter identify the key themes pursued by states and localities through education stimulus funding and the larger implications those actions are having on school reform across the nation."

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Report by Sara Mead, Anand Vaishnav, William Porter, and Andrew J. Rotherham, Bellweather Education Partners, December 2010.