Monday, May 23, 2011

What's the Texas sized holdup? Lone Star school districts may finally apply for Federal education funds



In August of 2010, the US department of Education released the following news in regards to the then new Education Jobs Bill:
The Education Jobs Fund (Ed Jobs) program is a new Federal program that provides $10 billion in assistance to States to save or create education jobs for the 2010-2011 school year. Jobs funded under this program include those that provide educational and related services for early childhood, elementary, and secondary education.
Texas, under secessionist-minded Rick Perry ultimately refused to accept any federal assitance. I guess he must have been too busy jogging and shooting coyotes. Also, they didn't like the amendment US Congressman Lloyd Doggett attached to the $830 in federal aid, which sought to prevent misuse of the funds by the always sneaky Texas GOP. From the Houston Chronicle -Sept.2010:
Doggett’s amendment asks that GOP Gov. Rick Perry commit that the emergency federal money, which is in the jobs protection program, won’t be used as a substitute for state funding and that education funding won’t be cut more than other programs are through 2013.
The amendment stemmed from worries that Texas, which is facing a massive budget shortfall through the next two years, would use the money to plug budget holes outside of public education. Texas is the only state affected by the amendment; critics have said federal stimulus funds intended to boost education were improperly used to fill gaps in the current budget.
Doggett said previously, “We didn’t send this federal aid for education to Texas to plug a state budget gap; we sent it to help our schoolchildren.”
April 15, 2011 Texas Education Commissioner Robert Scott claims that Texas can now ask for the $830 million thanks to the hard work of Rick Perry?

May 6th, 2011 The Texas Education Agency has the following news release:

May 6, 2011 SUBJECT:  2010–2012 Education Jobs Fund Grant
The Texas Education Agency (TEA) is pleased to announce the availability of funds under the Education Jobs (Ed Jobs) Fund for all local educational agencies (LEAs). The project period for the grant is August 10, 2010–September 30, 2012.
Locally, UISD stands to get over $7 million while LISD gets over $4 million from the Federal government. The question is will Texas count it as a state allocation and once again get away with accounting shenanigans?



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