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Stimulus Money in Jeopardy

January 30th, 2009 by flanews

Florida may lose a billion in federal education dollars because it is cutting too much school money from the state budget. The House version of the Economic Stimulus Package bans states from colleting some education dollars if school funding levels arent meet. As Whitney Ray tells us, Florida educators are traveling to D.C. to ask the Senate to lift the restriction.

Hear it Here: Stimulus Money in Jeopardy

Under the House version, Florida is still eligible for 2.3 billion dollars to be used for low income students and to renovate schools.

As Floridas schools wait on Washington for stimulus money, questions about the states commitment to education are being raised. School spending in Florida is at a four year low, and advocacy groups are outraged.

Schools are being closed all over Florida because of this, because the legislature has failed to support education, said Doug Martin, a spokesman for Florida AFSCME.

But bailout money from Washington may be cut by a billion dollars. The House stimulus package penalizes Florida because state education funding has fallen to the 2004 level.

Education groups from Florida are in Washington DC this weekend to lobby US Senators to lift the restriction.

Florida TaxWatch says US lawmakers are kicking the state when its already down.

Its a certain amount of insult to injury, and that injury is because of deteriorating economic conditions. Florida is experiencing something it never has in its history and thats a decline in its general population and a significant decline in its student population, said Dominic Calabro, the President of Florida TaxWatch.

And fewer students, means fewer dollars for schools, but on top of losing enrollment money, state lawmakers cut per student spending by 140 dollars in January.

Posted in Education, Legislature, State Budget, State News | 1 Comment »

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