Rush to Pump Out Stimulus Cash Highlights Disparities in Funding
Formulas Mean Aid May Not Track With Current Needs
The gusher of new federal education spending in the economic-stimulus bill signed into law last week will be piped to states and school districts with little or no regard for how badly they need the money. The measure could leave some states without enough money to restore all K-12 funding cuts, while others see a cash windfall.
That twist, which some education advocates say could reinforce current funding anomalies, stems from the recession-driven imperative of pumping new funds out fast. Congress used existing federal formulas that tend to reward large districts and states with high per-pupil spending.
As a result, some states and districts are likely to benefit disproportionately from the two-year flood of new federal money. As governors and local school officials gear up to spend the aid, some of the big winners are beginning to emerge—and not all of them are among those hardest hit...
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