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The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009: Selected Funding Streams for Struggling Students and Disconnected Youth

Elizabeth Grant & Cassius O. Johnson

On February 17, 2009, President Barack Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, better known as the economic stimulus plan. Congress and the Obama Administration acted in the wake of an economic crisis spurred by a deepening recession. Among its aims in passing the ARRA, Congress moved to help states and local jurisdictions reduce growing fiscal shortfalls that threaten the work of community leaders across the nation. Yet the intent of Congress went beyond acting to stabilize state and local budgets and create jobs: it also uses this one-time, unprecedented appropriation to lay the groundwork for long-term economic growth. The act dedicates funding for innovation in and the expansion of many federal investments. This document summarizes selected "ARRA Funding Streams for Struggling Students and Disconnected Youth." Funds authorized under ARRA will flow quickly to states and localities.

This summary is designed to help community leaders who seek to maintain and advance efforts to create pathways for struggling students and disconnected youth. It addresses what is known of the intent, the allocation process, and the most relevant sections of ARRA. However, beyond the legislative language and the accompanying House-Senate conference report, there is little information on how ARRA funds will be dispersed and how states may access them. Executive branch departments will provide guidance and, where applicable, application procedures for accessing the funds.