Gov. Jan Brewer has officially applied to the U.S. Department of Education for the first portion of  Arizona’s $1.02 billion allocation of federal stimulus education funds.

Two-thirds of the money is available now, with the remaining third becoming available in September. All the funds must be committed by Sept. 30, 2011.

The allocation includes $832 million for public and higher education, and $185 million for use at the governor’s discretion. Brewer said she would use those funds for education reform, health care and children’s programs, public safety and innovation, technology, and economic development.

“I remain committed to obtaining Arizona’s share of the federal stimulus package,” Brewer said. “It is important that these funds be utilized to prevent massive layoffs, and help manage one of the worst fiscal disasters the state of Arizona has ever seen.”

The federal stimulus funds will be used to restore $433 million of cuts from fiscal 2009 education budgets, with $399 million to supplement educational budgets in fiscal 2010.

The 2009 allocation includes $250 million for public school districts, $154 million for higher education, and $29 million for community colleges.

Public schools have already received $200 million in stimulus grants, and are slated to receive another $200 million. The grants must be used to finance tutoring and other programs for special education students and for economically disadvantaged students.

Arizona will receive a total of $4.4 billion from the federal stimulus package.

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