With some states taking a budget-cutting ax to public school funding, the U.S. education department on Thursday offered some guidance on finding and spending federal money flexibly–but did not attach any dollars to the advice, Reuters reports.

“In these challenging financial times–what I call ‘The New Normal’–governments at every level face a critical need to cut spending where we can in order to invest where we must,” Education Secretary Arne Duncan wrote to U.S. governors while offering “some options on the effective, efficient, and responsible use of resources in tight budget times.”

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