« Send Us Your Stimulus Questions | Main | Linda Darling-Hammond to Stay in California »

Stop Worrying, Florida

Schools and the Stimulus
The Sunshine State is one of a handful that says it can't meet the maintenance of effort requirements in the economic stimulus package, which mandate that states keep education funding at 2006 levels in order to receive the cash.

The law allows U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to waive maintenance of effort requirements for states that are in particularly dire fiscal straits. On a conference call last week with the media, an Education Department consultant told a reporter from Florida that the department wasn't going to issue blanket waivers and was going to look at each state on a case-by-case basis.

But, seriously, I don't think Florida should be sweating this one. There's no way that President Obama is going to travel to economically struggling Fort Myers, Fla., to stump for the stimulus, appear with Gov. Charlie Crist—one of just a few prominent Republicans govs to make a big show of support for the super-sized spending package—and then deny the state access to its share of a huge chunk of the money.

And, then there's the matter of those 27 electoral votes and Florida's status as one of the swingiest swing states. Mr. Obama wants to be re-elected, after all, and letting the state lay off thousands of teachers isn't a good way to launch his 2012 campaign.

At least two of the other states likely to seek waivers, according to this story: Nevada, home to Senate President Harry Reid, and California, home to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, House Education, Labor Chairman George Miller, and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, another gov who had the administration's back when others were crying foul about the cost of the measure.

Anything can happen, of course, but my guess? They'll be just fine too.

Notice: We recently upgraded our comments. (Learn more here.) If you are logged in as a subscriber or registered user and already have a Display Name on edweek.org, you can post comments. If you do not already have a Display Name, please create one here.
Ground Rules for Posting
We encourage lively debate, but please be respectful of others. Profanity and personal attacks are prohibited. By commenting, you are agreeing to abide by our user agreement.
All comments are public.

Follow This Blog


Most Viewed on Education Week



Recent Comments