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Stimulus money makes Florida schools’ picture less grim


In one fell swoop, the federal government may have turned the dreary school funding situation in Florida from disastrous to merely terrible. The $789 billion stimulus package that President Obama signed Tuesday is slated to send more than $3 billion to Florida’s K-12 public schools over two years, including hundreds of millions of dollars that may patch massive holes in district budgets next year, the St. Petersburg Times reports. Funding details for individual school districts remain sketchy. But statewide, the federal money could shrink the size of Florida’s pending education shortfall by half. And for some hard-hit districts, it might be enough to save jobs and critical programs and prevent teacher pay cuts. "These are historic levels (of funding)," U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, D-Tampa, said after using Tampa’s Chamberlain High School as a backdrop to tout the stimulus. "They are going to keep teachers teaching."

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