The $39 million designated for Maine as part of a $10 billion federal funds infusion to prevent teacher layoffs is on its way to the Pine Tree State.

The U.S. Department of Education on Friday said Maine’s application for the education jobs money passed by Congress last month has been approved.

Maine is the 12th state to have its application for the education jobs funds approved by the federal education department.

“This is great news for Maine,” Education Commissioner Angela Faherty said in a statement. “It means we will be able to retain, rehire, or hire more teachers and other school-level educators and other staff and preserve and enhance programming for Maine students at a time of challenging finances. ”

Maine will funnel the $39 million to local school districts by the standard funding formula it uses to distribute most education aid. School districts last week found out how much money they were entitled to under the jobs package, and districts have begun to file their individual applications for the money, Faherty said.

Schools can use the money to hire virtually any employee who works at a school. The money can’t be used to hire central office administration.

School districts also have the option of reserving some or all of the funds for the 2011-12 school year, when they’ll no longer receive federal stimulus funds.