The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act) provided $70.3 billion for three education programs--the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund (SFSF); Title I, Part A of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (Title I); and Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Part B. One goal of the Recovery Act was to save and create jobs, and SFSF also requires states to report information expected to increase transparency and advance educational reform. This report responds to two ongoing GAO mandates under the Recovery Act. It examines (1) how selected states and local recipients used the funds; (2) what plans the Department of Education (Education) and selected states have to assess the impact of the funds; (3) what approaches are being used to ensure accountability of the funds; and (4) how Education and states ensure the accuracy of recipient reported data. To conduct this review, GAO gathered information from 14 states and the District of Columbia, conducted a nationally representative survey of local educational agencies (LEA), interviewed Education officials, examined recipient reports, and reviewed relevant policy documents.
Recommendations for Executive Action
|Department of Education||1. To ensure all states receive appropriate communication and technical assistance for SFSF, consistent with what some states received in response to SFSF monitoring reviews, the Secretary of Education should establish mechanisms to improve the consistency of communicating monitoring feedback to states, such as establishing internal time frames for conveying information found during monitoring.|