On Tuesday, February 17, 2009, President Obama signed into law H.R. 1, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). This historic legislation, designed to improve the nation's economic situation, includes both spending and tax provisions. With a total price tag of $787 billion, the bill includes numerous programs that will benefit community college students and enable the colleges to expand critical job training programs. For more information and analysis, click here.
Below are recent AACC news items on ARRA:
State-by-State Funding Charts:
The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP), a non-profit organization focused on federal and state fiscal policy, recently produced state-by-state estimates for several of the key provisions in the economic stimulus package. Below are links to CBPP's short descriptions and tables for the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund and WIA funds. Once the federal agencies that administer these programs provide official allocations for the formula driven programs, AACC will provide updated information.
U.S. Department of Labor: The U.S. Department of Labor has issued final guidance to the workforce investment system on how to spend the roughly $3 billion that has been made available for training and other services to dislocated workers, adults and youth. Click here for the full text of Training and Employment Guidance Letter 14-08. States, in turn, have 30 days from now to make funds available, according to formulas in the Workforce Investment Act, to local areas. Community colleges, if they are not already doing so, are strongly encouraged to form partnerships with their local workforce investment boards to establish and grow training programs.
NTIA/Department of Agriculture: On March 12, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and the Department of Agriculture issued a joint request for information seeking public comments on the programs they will administer to spur the growth of broadband services. The stimulus legislation (ARRA) provided the two departments with approximately $7 billion for this purpose. Two programs are of particular note to community colleges. First, ARRA provided at least $200 million to support public computing centers, including those at community colleges and public libraries. Second, the NTIA will also be awarding at least $250 million in grants for innovative programs to encourage sustainable adoption of broadband service. The parameters of this program are fairly open at this point, and it could conceivably provide support for distance education and other initiatives at community colleges. Comments on the notice are due by April 13.
U.S. Department of Education: The U.S. Department of Education launched a new Web site for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) featuring press releases, fact sheets, and state-by-state allocations for formula-based programs.
Recovery.gov: The government has a new Web site that is designed to provide public access to how funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act are spent. To learn more about the accountability and transparency provisions as well as details about timing for various reports, visit the official Web site.
- Accountability and Transparency (PDF) - The Office of Management and Budget issued detailed guidance on February 18 on requirements for implementation of the ARRA to ensure greater transparency and accountability for these funds.
Grants.gov: For information about discretionary grant competitions at the federal departments and agencies, visit Grants.gov or Recovery.gov for links to each agency's ARRA site.