Using ARRA funds to drive school reform & improvement

April 27, 2009

By Flinn Foundation

As part of Secretary Arne Duncan’s ongoing effort to provide helpful, user-friendly information on the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), the U.S. Department of Education has posted a new resource — Using ARRA Funds to Drive School Reform and Improvement — on our Recovery web site at
This document includes framing questions for decision-making and examples of potential uses of funds to improve educational outcomes from early learning through high school.  It is intended to spark ideas about how school districts and schools might use ARRA funds — particularly those available under the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund, Title I, and IDEA, Part B programs.  While many districts may need to use a portion of their ARRA funds to save jobs, every district and school should be considering how to use these funds to improve student outcomes over the next two years and to advance reforms that will have a long-term impact.      
These initial examples are organized into five categories that reflect the priorities of the ARRA:
·         Adopting rigorous college- and career-ready standards and high-quality assessments;
·         Establishing data systems and using data for improvement;
·         Increasing teacher effectiveness and equitable distribution of effective teachers;
·         Turning around the lowest-performing schools; and
·         Improving results for all students, including early childhood learning, extended learning time, use of technology, preparation for college, and school modernization.  
This new resource is directly available at We hope you will share it.  Please let us know if you have any comments or questions.
Massie Ritsch
Deputy Assistant Secretary for External Affairs and Outreach
Office of Communications and Outreach
Adam Honeysett
Intergovernmental Affairs
Office of Communications and Outreach
Karen Stratman-Krusemark
Associations Liaison
Office of Communications and Outreach