- ARRA Coordinating Council
- Funding Categories
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Recovery Spending
American Recovery and Reinvestment Coordinating Council Report
Higher Education - March 24, 2009
Executive Order 2009-14 created the Oklahoma Coordinating Council for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). Members of the Coordinating Council were directed to form working groups within the functional areas to determine proposed use of funds, grant opportunities, monitoring and reporting requirements and other matters relating to ARRA. Members were also directed to look beyond the working groups for ways to partner and leverage the ARRA funds in innovative ways.
Below is an update on the progress of the Higher Education working group.
Prior to the order, the State Regents' staff and I worked with State Treasurer Scott Meacham to jointly examine what funds might be available for higher education in the ARRA legislation. We have continued to work closely with Treasurer Meacham and Secretary of State Susan Savage since the creation of the Coordinating Council. We have determined that there is more than $100 million available for categorical increases in Pell Grants and work study programs for higher education. In addition to these formula increases we have determined that a portion of the $578 million in the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund can be used for higher education under certain circumstances. These circumstances include filling budget gaps created by revenue shortfalls and for specific areas identified by the intent section of the legislation including mitigation of tuition increases.
In advance of the creation of the Coordinating Council, a conference call was arranged with the U.S. Department of Education on Friday, March 13, 2009 regarding ARRA funding for higher education in Oklahoma. Governor Henry's contact with Secretary Arne Duncan prior to the call was greatly appreciated. Participants in the call included myself, chairman of the Presidents' Council Larry DeVane of Redlands Community College, University of Oklahoma President David Boren, Oklahoma State University President Bums Hargis, State Treasurer Scott Meacham and your Chief-of-Staff Gerald Adams. We spoke with Tony Miller, a consultant with the U.S. Department of Education who is coordinating the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund portion of the legislation and two of his key assistants, Bob Shireman and Joe Conaty. The call helped clarify a number of issues related to flexibility of the fund in terms of required timing of expenditures, potential uses of funds, and methodology to calculate the budget gap.
The Higher Education Working Group held it first meeting on Tuesday, March 18, 2009 and established several subgroups to aid in the development of the plan. We reviewed ARRA principles and funding guidelines at this initial meeting. We will be developing a process to set funding priorities for higher education ARRA monies but tuition mitigation will certainly top that list.
The Higher Education Working Group heard from three guest speakers including State Treasurer Scott Meacham, Secretary of State Susan Savage and State Auditor Steve Burrage.
The mission and leadership of each subgroup are described below. In addition to State Regents' staff in each area two presidents from each of the three tiers of higher education have been invited to attend and participate in all groups.