What Are the Obligation Deadlines?
It is important to note that although all of the money is being made available to
states between now and fall 2009, states and districts do not have to obligate—or
formally commit, but not necessarily disburse—most of these funds until September
2010 and in some cases not until September 2011. In other words, though state and
local leaders should move prudently and expeditiously to expend these funds, they
do not have to do so hastily or wantonly.
For Title I funds, in the absence of a waiver, an LEA must obligate at least 85
percent of its total fiscal year 2009 Title I, Part A funds (including both the regular
appropriation and funds provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act)
by September 30, 2010. Any remaining fiscal year 2009 Title I, Part A funds will be
available for obligation until September 30, 2011.
For IDEA, Part B funds, states should make the Part B Grants to States and
Preschool Grants recovery funds that they receive in April available to LEAs by the
end of May 2009. An LEA should obligate the majority of these funds during the
2008–09 and 2009–2010 school years and the remainder during the 2010–11 school
year. States may begin obligating IDEA, Part B recovery funds immediately after
the effective date of the grant. All IDEA recovery funds must be obligated by
September 30, 2011.
For State Fiscal Stabilization Funds, states should commit as soon as possible and
must obligate funds at state and local levels by September 30, 2011.
Used judiciously, the funds available through the stimulus package present a unique
opportunity to dramatically invest in teacher effectiveness and the capacity of
schools and districts to improve student achievement. Because of the one-time
nature of the funds, states and districts should be careful to avoid funding commitments beyond the recovery funds’ expiration, after which the costs of such activities
would be borne by the states or districts.