TEA News Releases Online
April 10, 2009
About $2 billion in stimulus special education and Title I funds, plus another $1 billion for bonds, available
AUSTIN –About $2 billion in supplemental federal Title I and special education funds will soon be available to Texas school districts and charter schools. An additional $1 billion will be available to Texas districts in low-cost or no interest bonds through the federal Qualified School Construction Bond program.
The Texas Education Agency has posted preliminary planning amounts for districts that qualify for federal Title I funding, which is a program aimed at low-income children. The agency has also posted district-level preliminary planning amounts for special education programs. Both of those lists are available at www.tea.state.tx.us/arrastimulus/.
Districts may begin applying for this funding on Wednesday through the TEA’s online grant system.
Along with providing a substantial increase in funding for these two programs, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 provides allocation of authority to issue tax credit bonds through the Qualified School Construction Bonds (QSCB) program, which will provide low-cost or no-cost bonds to districts. Congress appropriated $11 billion annually for this program nationally and Texas expects to receive $1 billion in obligation authority in 2009 through this program. It will receive another $1 billion in authority the following year.
Forty percent of the bonding capacity is directed to the 100 largest school districts in the country, based on Title I enrollment. Eighteen of those districts are located in Texas and are eligible to issue bonds totaling $465.9 million. A list of the districts and the preliminary estimated bond allocation is attached. The preliminary amounts range in size from $94 million for the Houston Independent School District to $10 million for Garland ISD.
The remaining 60 percent of bonding authority which totals $538.6 million, along with any allocations that go unused by the 18 large districts, will be available to other Texas districts. TEA is developing an application process for those districts.
The bonds are to be used for school construction, renovation and land acquisition. The funding comes at a particularly good time for Texas districts. For decades, Texas districts have received favorable interest rates on their bonds when they have been backed by the Permanent School Fund’s Bond Guarantee Program. However that program has been temporarily suspended due to market declines.
With enrollment increases of 70,000 to 80,000 students a year, many Texas school districts are frequently constructing new schools or expanding existing facilities. Between the 2006-2007 school year and the following year, Texas added 134 new campuses.
|District Name||QSCB allocation|
|El Paso ISD||$29,067,000|
|Fort Worth ISD||$31,602,000|
|La Joya ISD||$13,392,000|
|Pharr-San Juan-Alamo ISD||$13,302,000|
|San Antonio ISD||$30,385,000|
|LEA allocations|| |
LEA allocations $465,942.000
State allocation $538,585,000
allocations for Texas $1,004,527,000