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Republicans decry stimulus funds for student iPods

A million-dollar purchase of iPods for high school students in Utah is among the many uses of federal stimulus money cited in a 74-page report put out by a pair of Republican senators who contend the $862 billion program is fraught with needless spending, reports the Los Angeles Times. “There is no question job creation should be a national priority, but torrential, misdirected government spending is not the way to do it,” reads the introduction, signed by Republican Sens. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma and John McCain of Arizona. The report is the third in a series that Republicans have written, spotlighting what they say is a dubious use of stimulus money. “We’ll look into each of their claims and take action if any have merit, but with more than 70,000 Recovery Act projects underway, any misguided project is just a small fraction of tens of thousands coast to coast that are rebuilding America and putting people to work,” said Elizabeth Oxhorn, a White House spokeswoman. The report questions a decision to spend $1 million on iPod Touch devices for 1,600 students at Kearns High School in Kearns, Utah. The school will load the iPods with educational applications that teachers hope will motivate students. Students will get to keep the devices if they meet graduation requirements, a school district spokesman said. A White House official defended the iPod program, saying, “This program is actually an example of a school using cutting-edge technology to enhance learning, while providing cost-effective internet access to students for research.”

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