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Rick Hess Straight Up

Education policy maven Rick Hess of the American Enterprise Institute think tank offers straight talk on matters of policy, politics, research, and reform. Read more from this blog.

Education Opinion

It’s Raining Money

By Rick Hess — August 04, 2010 1 min read

The folks at the Department of Ed were no doubt pleased to see that the Senate voted 61-38 to end debate on a spending bill that had been in limbo just a couple days ago. This means the bill will pass the Senate in short order and will in all likelihood pass the House in mid-September. Included in this bill was $10 billion to help school districts and states avoid making tough calls on staffing for another 12 months. (The new spending was technically offset by gimmicks such as promising to end stimulus-expanded food stamp benefits in 2014 rather than 2015). If this were all part of an overall strategy to help districts and states unwind unaffordable benefits, pensions, and staffing, that might be a good investment. But as I noted this morning, the administration’s logic seems to be it’s better to spend and then start wishing really hard than to make the tough choices.

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