News Releases

EDUCATION: Senator Murray Announces over $860 Million in Funding for Washington State Schools from Economic Recovery Act

Apr 02 2009

Funding will save and create teacher jobs, support WA state education goals, and protect education priorities in the face of budget cuts

(Washington, D.C.) - Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) announced that over $860 million in funding is now available for Washington state’s schools and education priorities as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009.  This funding will go to the state to help save teaching jobs and provide much-needed resources for schools, students, and teachers in the face of state and local budget cuts. As a senior member of the Senate Committees that oversee funding and legislation on education, Senator Murray was instrumental in ensuring that the Recovery Act made significant investments in education. The funding announced today is a portion of overall funding that will go to Washington state as part of the Recovery Act.  More funding for education will be made available in late summer or early fall 2009.

“This funding couldn’t come at a more critical time for our teachers, students, and schools,” said Senator Murray. “With the state and local budgets in real need, this funding is going to save teacher jobs and ensure our schools can meet their commitment to students. Our schools and universities are the engines that drive our economy. If we allow them to fall victim to this crisis we will lose our foundation for success in the future.”

"I applaud the actions of the Obama administration and Sen. Murray on these much needed stabilization funds for our state's education system," said Gov. Chris Gregoire. "There is no more important investment for the future of this state and this country than education. In the face of our budget shortfall, this funding will be a tremendous support while we work to improve our state's economic circumstances."

Today’s announcement means that funding from a number of different education accounts that were included in the Recovery Act are now available to Washington state. The funding made available today can be used to protect against budget cuts, save jobs, boost funding for special needs students and adults, invest in low-income school districts, and modernize schools. Most of the funding will go through existing formulas to the state who will then distribute it to school districts throughout Washington.

A major component of today’s announcement is the release of two-thirds of the State Stabilization Fund which will be made available for Washington state after an application process. State Stabilization funding is designed to ensure that local school districts and public institutions of higher education have the resources to avoid education cuts and retain teachers and professors in the face of difficult budgets. The program may also help support the modernization, renovation, and repair of school and public college facilities.

The following is a breakdown of funding now available to Washington state:

NOTE: All funding represents only what is now being made available to WA State.  More eduation funding will be made available to WA State under ARRA.

See detailed information on the use of funds and the breakdown on which portions of funding have been made available.

  • $671.6 million – State Stabilization Fund - This funding is broken down into two separate funds available to the Washington.  (67% of total State Stabilization funding)

    • $549.4 million in Education Stabilization funding is allocated for the state to use to help save jobs and improve K-12 and higher education, and 
    • $122.2 million in Government Services funding is allocated for the state to pay for education, public safety or other government services.
      To access these funds the State of Washington will have to file an application with the Department of Education that specifies additional information, including how the funds will be used. The Department of Education will release funds to the state within two weeks of the application’s approval. – More Info 
  • $119.1 million – IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) Parts B and C funding - This funding is now available to Washington state to assist with special needs education - More Info (50% of all funding state will receive)

  • $67.6 million  -  Title I, Part A funding - This funding is now available to Washington state to help schools that have high concentrations of students from low-income families in order to improve teaching and learning for students most at risk of failing to meet state academic achievement standards – More Info (50% of all funding state will receive)

  • $1.5 million - Impact Aid formula funding – This funding is now available to Washington state to help provide school districts where there is a major military or tribal presence with the additional revenue they need to fund local education priorities. Districts where there is a major federal presence like a military base often lack revenue because these federal properties are not taxed by the municipality.  (100% of all funding state will receive) 

  • $287,220 - Independent Living – This funding is now available to Washington state to help maximize independence for students and older individuals who are blind or have other significant disabilities.  (100% of all funding state will receive)More Info

  • Amount TBD - Homeless Youth funding – Funding is now available to help Washington state  with the identification, enrollment, attendance, and school success of youth experiencing homelessness. (100% of all funding state will receive)

Senator Murray is a senior member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee that oversees Education legislation as well as the Senate Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies (LHHS) Appropriations Subcommittee that oversees education funding. Senator Murray voted to pass the Recovery Act on February 13th. The bill was signed into law by President Obama on February 17th.