Menendez Hails $2 Billion In School and Education Funding For NJ Which Helps Economic Recovery, Lays Foundation For Economic Future

Menendez Hails $2 Billion In School and Education Funding For NJ Which Helps Economic Recovery, Lays Foundation For Economic Future

Joined by local teacher and student at Ridgefield school to talk about how funds will help build new, stronger 21st Century economy

Ridgefield - Today U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) visited Ridgefield Memorial High School to announce that more than $2 billion in school and education funding for New Jersey is available as part of the economic recovery package. Menendez, joined by a local teacher and student, as well as school officials, teacher advocates and Ridgefield Mayor Anthony Suarez, said that these funds will come from a number of programs in the recovery package that will help retain teachers, update classroom technology, increase access to nutrition and support early education and education for disadvantaged and disabled students.

"As we rebuild our economy, we must ensure we lay the foundation for a stronger economic future," said Menendez. "Investing educational tools and programs as well as the teachers who will help students reach their potential is what will ensure not only that our children prosper, but that our nation stays at the apex of the innovation curve. A modern and effective education system is crucial to emerge from this crisis stronger and positioned to continue leading the world economy. New Jersey was home to Thomas Edison and has always been a place where big thinkers can make the innovations that create jobs and economic activity. These are the type of investments that will help it stay that way."

Joyce Powell, New Jersey Education Association President said: "NJEA applauds the vision and courage of President Obama, Senator Menendez and all those in Congress who made the bold decision to invest in our future by passing the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

I am particularly pleased that the bill clearly recognized the importance of investing in public education. By designating funds to each state specifically to prevent layoffs in our public schools, the bill sent a strong message that the education of our children should remain a high priority even in the most challenging economic circumstances.That is appropriate, because education is our best hope for emerging from this current crisis stronger and better positioned to lead in the world economy."

Below is a breakdown of funding coming to New Jersey by program type:

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

Education Funding to New Jersey

State Fiscal Stabilization Fund: $1.3 billion

Funds can be used on local school districts, public colleges and universities, and other high-priority needs such as public safety and other critical services, which may include education. (82 percent of money must go to education funding. The remainder may as well, though that has yet to be determined.)

Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA): $361.5 million

Funds are to help improve educational outcomes for individuals with disabilities.

Title I Education for the Disadvantaged: $253.3 million

Funds will help close the achievement gap and enable disadvantaged students to reach their potential.

Pell Grants: $146 million

Funds will increase assistance for the 136,000 Pell Grant recipients in New Jersey.

Head Start: $12.8 million

Will allow additional children to participate in this program, which provides development, educational, health, nutritional, social and other activities that prepare children to succeed in school.

Education Technology: $12.7 million

Funds will purchase up-to-date computers and software and provide professional development to ensure the technology is used effectively in the classroom.

National School Lunch Program: $2 million