Friday, May 15, 2009

Budget Agreement Supplants Education Dollars and Ignores the Intent of the Federal Stimulus Package

Today’s announced budget agreement is very disheartening for common education and higher education. While both will receive small increases, federal stimulus money that was intended for education is being used to supplant shortfalls in state education funding and shore up other agencies.

Of the $474 million Congress is sending for education in Oklahoma (not counting Title I and Special Education stimulus money), common ed and higher ed will receive a combined $71 million increase this budget year.

It’s a shell game to promise the public that federal money will be used for innovation in our schools when in fact we’re being held to the status quo. While it may be legal to supplant state money with stimulus dollars, it’s not right. Parents of public and higher education students were led to believe new money was coming. It’s sad that it won’t.

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