The Hechinger Report and the Education Writers Association partnered with more than 30 newspapers nationwide to take a look at how the stimulus money was spent.



A close-up of the President’s signature on the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which he signed in Denver on Feb. 17, 2009.

Impact of education stimulus far from certain

By Michele McNeil

In the two years since Congress made the federal government’s largest one-time investment in public schools, change has rippled through classrooms from coast to coast. Tennessee and Delaware have revamped their laws to promote the growth of charter schools. Massachusetts and Maryland have launched efforts to tie teacher evaluations to student performance. Reflecting similar moves […]

Teaching jobs

How many jobs did the education stimulus save?

By Michele McNeil

The economic-stimulus package that Congress passed two years ago preserved hundreds of thousands of jobs in the nation’s public schools but, with the economy still sputtering, the future of many of those positions remains in jeopardy. In all, the nearly $100 billion shot-in-the-arm funded 367,524 education-related jobs during the 2009-10 school year, according to the […]

Is the stimulus really “No Consultant Left Behind”?

By Andrew Brownstein

The flood of federal stimulus money into the nation’s public schools has dramatically increased the demand for education consultants, leaving some stimulus recipients struggling to find seasoned advisors and others uneasy about the pitches they are getting. The frenzy was caused by the unprecedented size and scope of the nearly $100 billion federal effort, which […]

A School of One student works on a tablet computer with a live remote tutor. (Courtesy of School of One)

Investing stimulus money in innovation

By Andrew Brownstein

For the long-troubled public school system of New Orleans, the 2005 hurricane that broke the levees and displaced thousands of students also cleared the way for a nonprofit with the self-explanatory name New Schools for New Orleans. Now, that start-up organization has become both a symbol of an educational renaissance in post-Katrina New Orleans and […]

Coverage from participating news sites

Juneau Empire: Stimulus dollars drive demand for consultants

The flood of federal stimulus money into the nation’s public schools has dramatically increased the demand for education consultants, leaving some stimulus recipients struggling to find seasoned advisors and others uneasy about the pitches they are […]

Philadelphia Inquirer: Giving 3d graders the reading habit

In Sherry Longstreth’s third-grade classroom at the Thomas K. Finletter Academics Plus School in Philadelphia’s Olney neighborhood, reading takes center stage.

Raleigh News Observer: U.S. school aid runs low

The financial picture for North Carolina schools is bleaker now than during the worst of the recession. In the past two years, the federal government stepped in with hundreds of millions of dollars that prevented layoffs of teachers, administrators […]

Chicago Tribune: State officials pursue private support for public school reform initiatives

For months, Illinois education officials have courted private support for public education reforms that would test every kindergartner and revamp how teenagers study science and technology.

Statesman Journal: What happens to Salem-Keizer schools after federal money's gone?

Four struggling Salem-Keizer schools promised huge gains in several benchmarks such as test scores and attendance starting this year in exchange for millions in federal School Improvement Grants.

Charlotte Observer: N.C. schools run low on federal aid

The financial picture for North Carolina schools is bleaker now than during the worst of the recession.

Dallas Morning News: School stimulus money repaired budget holes but spurred little innovation

Billions of dollars in federal stimulus funds given to states in 2009 were meant to ease education budgets and push schools toward educational makeovers. There’s little doubt that the more than $6 billion that Texas received repaired budget holes, […]

Casper Star-Tribune: Wyoming schools fall out of 'Race' early

Wyoming cut out early from the competitive $4.35 billion federal education grant program. The Race to the Top program required states to prove excellence and effort in four areas: adopting standards and assessments, measuring and using growth-based […]

Casper Star-Tribune: Natrona County School District spends stimulus on training

The fourth-graders picked up their books and scattered in pairs around the classroom. Some chose to sit at desks, others lounged on the floor.

Charleston Gazette: Are stimulus funds turning Kanawha schools around?

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Nearly $4.5 million in federal stimulus money is headed to five struggling Kanawha County schools, but state and local educators say it will be years before students at those schools might show real academic progress.

Baltimore Sun: Consultants want piece of Race to the Top funding

Leslie Wilson’s work as a behind-the-scenes bureaucrat may involve statistical analysis and minutiae that would put most of the world to sleep, but she has suddenly become one of the most powerful people in the Maryland State Department of Education.

Tulsa World: Grants provide time to learn

After six “persistently low-performing” schools in Tulsa were awarded $22.5 million, or more than 60 percent of all School Improvement Grants funded with federal stimulus money in Oklahoma, two decided to try a reform model they couldn’t possibly […]

Hartford Courant: Nearly $100 Billion For Schools In Economic Stimulus

In the two years since Congress made the federal government’s largest one-time investment in public schools, change has rippled through classrooms from coast to coast.

Nashua Telegraph: 2nd candle marks $787b in stimulus

Put a second candle on the $787 billion cake known as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. ARRA, also popularly known as the economic stimulus package, was signed into law by President Obama two years ago today.

St. Louis Post Dispatch: Schools have tough time making stimulus grade

More than $4.5 billion in school stimulus funding has been awarded to Missouri and Illinois in the past two years. Most has been spent.

Cleveland Plain Dealer: Bar education consultants' race to the cash: editorial

If this one-time money buys largely scratch-your-back bureaucratic enrichment, the Race to the Top will be a failure. Education is too important to put these fleeting reform dollars into a “No Consultant Left Behind” fund.

Cleveland Plain Dealer: Education reform, reaching Ohio's at-risk students are main goals of Race to the Top program

In the two years since Congress made the federal government’s largest one-time investment in public schools, change has begun to ripple through classrooms from coast to coast.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: School districts bracing for end of stimulus funds

For Pittsburgh Public Schools, which was already in the midst of developing and implementing a series of reforms when the economic stimulus was passed, the funding has saved about 200 teaching jobs each year.

Columbus Dispatch: Big money fuels a massive school reform effort

The $3.2 billion awarded in Ohio helped to balance the current budget but also launched the state on a fundamental remaking of its system for training and evaluating teachers. But over the long term, will the investment bolster academic achievement?

Columbus Dispatch: Columbus must fix 'worst' schools or lose millions

Seven of the state’s worst schools are sitting in the emergency room, waiting for Columbus City Schools to heal them. Their needs are so dire, the district won about $20 million in federal stimulus money to turn them around. Now the pressure is on.

Centre Daily Times: Districts struggling to make up revenue loss when stimulus ends

More than $12.67 million in federal stimulus dollars has poured into Centre County classrooms during the past two years.

Boston Globe: School-stimulus benefit may be short-lived

In the two years since Congress made the federal government’s largest one-time investment in public schools, change has rippled through classrooms from coast to coast, as districts have expanded school days, improved teacher training, and tried to […]

Connecticut Mirror: Can a private firm and federal funds fix this public school?

BRIDGEPORT–Long before lunch hour begins, the cafeteria at Harding High School fills with students sitting idly around tables. Some chat on cell phones. Others slump in chairs. Not a book in sight.

Education Week: Mixed Report Card for Education Stimulus After 2 Years

Nearly $100 billion in aid saved jobs and spurred state policy overhauls, but the long-term impact remains to be seen as the recovery act reaches its second anniversary.