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Tuesday, July 06, 2004

When Democrats Start in on Education

You know, when they start yakking about how the President's education package (co-authored by Professor Kennedy) "doesn't do enough", consider this:

U.S. Tells States to Spend School Funds

The Education Department has found that all the states, the District of Columbia and eight territories have high cash balances left from 2002, including money meant for poor children, disabled students and limited-English learners.

States then have two final years to spend the money. Ultimately, school money not committed or spent returns to the federal treasury, as happened with $155 million last year.

Last year, before the big bucks kicked in? So now there's even MORE to spend?

Oh, and what exactly do we get for our investment?

More than $2.1 billion is unspent from 2002, or about 8 percent of the money allocated for five broad areas, including special education and adult education. The department's letters to states identified only those cash balances that seemed particularly high.

The department issued its reminder, Jones said, to ensure that states don't miss their chances to use the money. It's part of a broader effort this year to help states account for all the federal money available and to draw it down more quickly.

We are sooooooooo underfunded we can't remember to even spend what little money we do have!

GOP leaders are expanding an argument made this year by the department, the White House and congressional Republicans: that schools are flush with federal money. It's meant to counter the claim that President Bush, who championed a law demanding greater improvement in all schools, has not come close to keeping his promise to pay for changes the law demands.

"We've literally flooded the system with cash, and it's time to start focusing on improving student achievement instead," said Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio, chairman of the House Education and the Workforce Committee.

Please, just produce students who can read and write, and who realize they will actually have to do SOMETHING productive in order to get a paycheck....


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