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A First Look At Stimulus Spending

Since the release of the House Stimulus bill more than a week ago, education stakeholders have come alive with speculation about the distribution of funds.  Today, the Education and Labor Committee released Congressional Research Service (CRS) estimated stimulus allocations to local education agencies (LEAs).  The estimates include 2009 and 2010 allocations for Title I, IDEA, school construction, and total stimulus spending, all of which are based on FY 2008 Title I allocations.  In an effort to make this information as accessible as possible, we turned the CRS data into an excel spreadsheet and performed a few analyses using our Federal Education Budget Project (FEBP) data.

The average stimulus allocation per district can be found in the table below.

Our first analysis examined the stimulus allocation by state including the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.  We summed all of the district allocations at the state level for both 2009 and 2010 and merged in select data from the FEBP database including total students, free and reduced priced lunch participation, special education participation, and Title I and IDEA allocations for FY 2008. 

Using this data, we determined stimulus funding per student in each state for 2009 and overall.  In both 2009 and overall DC and Puerto Rico are expected to receive the highest allocations per student with DC receiving $1,289 in 2009 and $1,810 overall and Puerto Rico receiving $927 in 2009 and $1,260 overall.  Of the 50 states, Louisiana is expected to receive the highest allocation per student at $785 in 2009 and $1138 overall.  Utah is estimated to receive the smallest allocation per student with $283 in 2009 and $468 overall.

Mississippi, the state with the highest percentage of students participating in free and reduced price lunch (FRPL) - 70 percent - is expected to receive $657 per student in 2009 and $958 overall.  Conversely, Connecticut has the lowest percentage of students in FRPL - 28 percent - and is expected to receive $409 per student in 2009 and $625 overall.  Although stimulus funding is supposed to target those areas with the most impoverished populations, it appears that the poorest states are not expected to receive the most stimulus funding per student.  Calculations involving stimulus funding per poor student were not possible with available data.

The spreadsheet containing this information can be downloaded here.

Our second analysis examined the stimulus allocations in the largest district in each state including Hawaii (one large district), the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.  We used FEBP data to identify the largest district in each state and merged in select data from FEBP including total students, free and reduced priced lunch participation, special education participation, and Title I and IDEA allocations for FY 2008. 

Again, we used this data to determine stimulus funding per student in each district for 2009 and overall.  Detroit is estimated to receive the most stimulus funding per student with $2,265 in 2009 and $3,218 overall.  Meridian Joint School District in Idaho is expected to receive the least funding per student with $198 in 2009 and $339 overall.

Jackson Public School District in Mississippi has the highest percentage of students enrolled in FRPL, 82 percent, and is expected to receive $892 per student in 2009 and $1,275 overall.  Eighteen of the 50 school districts are expected to receive more money than Jackson even though they have fewer students in poverty.  Meridian Joint School District in Idaho is the least impoverished school district on the list at 18 percent FRPL enrollment.  It is expected to receive $198 in stimulus funding per student in 2009 and $339 overall. In this case, the least impoverished district will receive the least funding per student.

The spreadsheet containing this information can be downloaded here.

Although these data are estimates based on the House stimulus bill and the Senate bill is still under consideration, our initial analysis suggests that stimulus allocations may overlook some states and districts that need the dollars the most.  Stimulus allocations are based on Title I allocations which do not always target those districts with the highest percentage of poor students.  At the same time, stimulus funding does not take into account districts with large special education and English language learner populations.  These districts with the socially and academically neediest students will benefit the most from the infusion of additional federal dollars. We hope that the final stimulus bill will better target the potential billions of dollars for the maximum benefit.

A spreadsheet containing the full allocation estimate dataset can be downloaded here.

AttachmentSize
Stimulus Funding Largest District in Each State2.xls36 KB
CRS Estimate of Stimulus Distribution2.xls1.9 MB
Total Stimulus Dollars by State2.xls28 KB

As a retired educator and

As a retired educator and tax payer, I am concerned with the education of our youth and the amount of federal spending. It is important that the money be wisely allocated to justify the current proposed level of federal intervention and spending. If these bailouts are to be justifiable, they must target those in need. Thank you for providing the thoughtful analysis to assist those voting and using these expenditures. I hope they are using them!

Title IID Stimulus

Your spreadsheets do not seem to include the $1 Billion dollars for Title IID in the stimulus package. Am I missing this somewhere?

Thanks,

David

Title IID Stimulus

The CRS estimates only included breakout amounts for TItle I, IDEA, and construction.  However, I would assume that the total stimulus amount listed in the spreadsheet includes the Title IID stimulus payments.