During a recent press conference at Cabrillo High School, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger announced that California is the first state in the nation to receive stimulus dollars. The Long Beach Unified School District immediately applied for its share of the funds.
Altogether, California school districts and universities are eligible for $3.1 billion through the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund within the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. They must go through an application process managed by the California Department of Education. Governor Schwarzenegger and other leaders urged educational institutions to follow the example of Long Beach and take “quick action” to obtain federal resources.
“We must do everything we can to help protect our schools from the effects of our economy—that’s why these Recovery Act dollars are so important,” said Governor Schwarzenegger. “Our kids should have the first run at our treasury, and that’s true of the Recovery Act dollars too.”
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell added: “These funds will help us in K-12 to be able to keep and retain many of our professional educators; these funds will help us keep our class sizes at a more manageable level; and these funds will enable us to continue our work and progress on closing the achievement gap in our state.”
Christopher J. Steinhauser, superintendent of schools, noted that the stimulus dollars, along with other resources, will help LBUSD remain focused on students during lean fiscal times. “For years,” he said, “Long Beach has been asking for flexibility in how we spend our funds, and this year we received it. Because of that flexibility and because of these new funds, Long Beach will be able to continue being the leader that we are in the nation in closing the achievement gap by protecting jobs.”