Survey Reports on ARRA Funds in Schools About one-fifth of school districts in a recent survey are using American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds to preserve speech-language pathologists’ positions, and many are using the funds for staff development for SLPs (46%) and educational audiologists (18%). The survey was fielded by ASHA’s School Finance Committee (SFC), whose ... ASHA News
Free
ASHA News  |   December 01, 2009
Survey Reports on ARRA Funds in Schools
Author Notes
  • Judy Rudebusch, EdD, CCC-SLP, chair of ASHA’s School Finance Committee, is division director for special services in the Irving Independent School District in north Texas.
    Judy Rudebusch, EdD, CCC-SLP, chair of ASHA’s School Finance Committee, is division director for special services in the Irving Independent School District in north Texas.×
  • Janet Deppe, MS, CCC-SLP, director of state advocacy and ex-officio member of ASHA’s School Finance Committee, can be reached at jdeppe@asha.org.
    Janet Deppe, MS, CCC-SLP, director of state advocacy and ex-officio member of ASHA’s School Finance Committee, can be reached at jdeppe@asha.org.×
Article Information
School-Based Settings / Regulatory, Legislative & Advocacy / ASHA News
ASHA News   |   December 01, 2009
Survey Reports on ARRA Funds in Schools
The ASHA Leader, December 2009, Vol. 14, 3-26. doi:10.1044/leader.AN2.14162009.3
The ASHA Leader, December 2009, Vol. 14, 3-26. doi:10.1044/leader.AN2.14162009.3
About one-fifth of school districts in a recent survey are using American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds to preserve speech-language pathologists’ positions, and many are using the funds for staff development for SLPs (46%) and educational audiologists (18%).
The survey was fielded by ASHA’s School Finance Committee (SFC), whose members had many questions about use of ARRA funds in schools. How are ARRA funds being distributed in districts? Are ARRA funds being used to benefit speech-language pathology and audiology programs and services? Are district decision-makers allocating funds to support jobs and services in speech-language pathology and audiology?
Given its charge to help members understand and access funding, the SFC approached ASHA for help in developing a survey for school superintendents that answered these—and other—questions about ARRA funding for speech-language pathology and audiology positions and programs. ARRA allocates approximately $100 billion for education, creating a historic opportunity to save jobs, support states and school districts, and advance reforms and improvements with long-lasting results for students from kindergarten through post-secondary education. Federal stimulus funds come to public school districts from three funding streams: the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Elementary and Secondary Education Act/No Child Left Behind (Title IA, Helping Disadvantaged Students, and Title IID, Instructional Technology), and state fiscal stabilization funds.
The primary objective in distributing the survey was to raise awareness of and indirectly support planning for the expenditure of federal stimulus funds on audiology and speech-language pathology services and equipment and on improving classroom acoustics for new school buildings or building modifications. However, the survey generated a number of responses that provide insight into the intended use of ARRA funds and the challenges and barriers superintendents have faced in accessing and utilizing them effectively.
The survey was sent electronically to 845 school district superintendents in 31 states throughout the country. Of the original sample, 66 had undeliverable e-mail addresses. The number of respondents was 222 (28%).
Respondents identified challenges and barriers to using ARRA funds. Insufficient information from local and state education agencies about ARRA funds, as well as understanding the limits and restrictions on their use, presented challenges for many respondents. Other barriers included deciding how to use funds, the time required to plan for acquisition and use of funds, when funds are received, and the required paperwork, tracking, and reporting. Respondents were also concerned about finding sufficient resources to continue programs after ARRA funds are no longer available.
Survey results [PDF] are encouraging: respondents recognize the need to retain qualifed SLPs and plan to spend about 20% of ARRA funds to preserve those jobs; they realize the importance of ongoing professional improvement; and almost 75% are planning equipment and technology purchases including classroom amplification.
With substantial ARRA funds earmarked for early literacy and language development services, SLPs should be aware of opportunities to be involved in Response to Intervention programs in general education curricula.
The SFC plans to use the information from the survey to help members advocate for the use of funds for speech-language pathology and audiology programs and services in schools. Members can access information and resources through the SFC Web page.
0 Comments
Submit a Comment
Submit A Comment
Name
Comment Title
Comment


This feature is available to Subscribers Only
Sign In or Create an Account ×
FROM THIS ISSUE
December 2009
Volume 14, Issue 16