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Proposed Education, R&D Stimulus Over $75 Billion – American Recovery and Reinvestment Stimulus Bill Totals $825 Billion

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barack20obama-aag-007706House Appropriations Committee Chairman Rep. David Obey released details of the proposed American Recovery and Reivestment Bill of 2009; – a bill that includes $550 billion in investments and $275 billion in economic recovery tax cuts.

Students, researchers, and colleges could benefit greatly from the proposed $825 billion economic-stimulus unveiled by Democratic leaders in the U.S. House of Representatives.

The House’s version of the economic stimulus package would provide as much as $20 billion for students, $8 billion for scientific research, $9 billion for academic facilities, and $39 billion for states for education purposes.

The bill would provide the following funding to education:

– Increase the maximum Pell Grant by $500, from $4,850 to $5, 350 for 2009-2010

– Replace the Hope tax credit with a tax credit worth up to $2,500 a year, of which $1,000 is refundable to help students from low-income families

– $490 million in additional funding for undergraduate and graduate work-study

– $50 million additional funding to help the Department of Education administer student aid programs

– $14 billion for K-12 technology upgrades and energy efficiency improvements

– $6 billion for higher education technology upgrades and energy efficiency improvements

– $1 billion for computer and science labs and teacher technology training

– $39 billion to local school districts and public colleges and universities to help restore cuts to critical education programs

– $15 billion to states in bonus grants as a reward for meeting key performance measures

– $25 billion to states for other education needs

– $4 billion in grants to community colleges and for non-profit institutions that provide adult education and job training

However, this House bill still has several approval hurdles to overcome that could reshape parts of it before landing on President Obama’s desk for approval signing.

Many educational institutions across the nation anxiously await its approval during the economic budget crisis that has swept country.

For example, Utah State University (USC) is bracing for a $30 million hit between state cuts this fiscal year and next, costing 600 jobs. But unless USC formally declares a emergency crisis, a budget reduction of that size could mean losing up to 40 percent of its staff, according to President Stan Albrecht.

At lawmakers’ request, higher education officials quantified savings from some across-the-board measures, such as one-day-a-week furloughs, dumping summer school and sharing retirement contributions. For example, cutting retirement contributions at USC from 14.2 to 12 percent saves $12.5 million or combined with other Utah institutions $56 million a year system wide, but such a move would undermine the schools’ ability to recruit top qualified educators said William Sederburg, commissioner of Utah’s higher education.

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Proposed Education, R&D Stimulus Over $75 Billion - American Recovery and Reinvestment Stimulus Bill Totals $825 Billion by
Authored by: Harrison Barnes