Stimulus Patching Budgets
Local Officials Crying Foul As Governors Grab for Aid
Desperate for cash to fill growing budget deficits, state governments are starting to tangle with federal and local officials over a $39.8 billion pot of economic-stimulus money that was designed to prop up the budgets of local school districts, but is increasingly being eyed as a patch for states’ own financial woes.
Vague language and loopholes in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act—the stimulus package signed into law in February by President Barack Obama—are sparking questions about how much discretion states have over education stimulus funding. Mayors and school boards in a number of states fear being shortchanged by revenue-hungry governors and legislatures.
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan is putting state-level officials on notice that spending the first chunk of stimulus money unwisely could jeopardize aid that his...
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