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

Client: William and Flora Hewlett Foundation

Federal stimulus spending for both economic recovery and education reform has not matched its ambitious intent. In this paper, we explore how the unprecedented flow of funding from the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA) into education impacted the field, and identify key themes and lessons emerging from state and district experiences. We also detail broader implications for education policy and practice, including the structure and use of federal funding, strategic approaches to federal education policy and the role of policymakers and advocacy organizations.

We co-authored this report with Bellwether Education Partners and developed it with support from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. Districts and organizations we interviewed include Charlotte Mecklenburg Public Schools, Council of the Great City Schools, Education Resource Strategies and Prince George’s County Public Schools.

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