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Arkansas Senators Announce $119M in Education Funding (AR)

May 13, 2010

U.S. Senators Blanche Lincoln and Mark Pryor today announced that Arkansas  will receive $119,807,496 in Recovery Act funds to improve facilities, upgrade technology, fund afterschool programs and support special education for K-12 schools throughout Arkansas. The funds, awarded under the U.S. Department of Education’s State Fiscal Stabilization Fund (SFSF) program, will also go toward campus facility improvements for Arkansas’s public universities and colleges.

The Arkansas Department of Education and Department of Higher Education will distribute funds to school districts, colleges and universities throughout the state, and $112.5 million of the $119.8 million grant will be designated for K-12 education. Arkansas already has access to $341 million of the SFSF funding it was due to receive from the Recovery Act. This grant is the final installment of SFSF funding for Arkansas.

"Every Arkansas student deserves a high-quality education, and this assistance will help our state provide young people with the skills and knowledge they need to be successful," Lincoln said. "This funding is especially helpful in these difficult economic times, when local budgets are tight. I will continue fighting to improve education in Arkansas and to ensure our students have the skills to become productive members of the workforce."

"In order for our kids to compete globally in the future, we must make important investments in our schools today," Pryor said. "These recovery dollars will help prevent layoffs, fund valuable afterschool programs, and ensure that our schools have the resources they need to prepare our kids for success."

"Educating the next generation’s workforce is not only essential to maintaining our growth as a state, but also ensures Arkansans can continue to compete in a complex and ever-changing global jobs market," Berry said. "This funding is a great investment in our children and the future of Arkansas"

"Education investments have long term benefits for our society, our economy and our future," Snyder said. "Injecting urgently-needed federal funding from the Recovery Act into our education system wisely uses these funds to strengthen education and improve results for students from early learning through college."

"Our local school districts, colleges and universities are important components of our communities and our children’s futures," Ross said. "I am pleased to announce this federal investment in our education system. This funding will open more doors and create numerous opportunities for our young people, and ultimately help keep Arkansas’s greatest minds right here in the state."

The U.S. Department of Education’s SFSF program provides funding to state and local governments to prevent teacher layoffs and other cuts to education during the recession. In Arkansas, the Recovery Act supported more than 600 education jobs between October 1 and December 31, 2009, according to the U.S. Department of Education. For more information please contact: Sarabjit Jagirdar, Email:- htsyndication@hindustantimes.com