Fiscal Stability Allows for Long View on Stimulus
Extra Funds Offer Change for Lasting Investments, While Officials Remain Aware That Caution is Watchword in Spending
Even as school officials across the country continue to weigh cutbacks because of the still-bleak economy, Greg Murry, the superintendent of this 9,000-student district, faces an enviable challenge: how to spend, within a tight time frame, an economic-stimulus windfall of up to $7 million.
Instead of just filling budget holes as it did elsewhere, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act passed by Congress last February offered Arkansas—one of the few bright spots in a dismal national landscape for K-12 spending—a rare opportunity to make lasting investments in student outcomes.
Conway, about a half-hour’s drive from Little Rock, is trying to make the most of the infusion of federal aid without making spending commitments it can’t continue when...
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