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School stimulus money is ‘falling off the truck’

Educators across the country are counting on a federal stimulus windfall to prevent teacher layoffs and improve schools. But while Washington is giving, some state and local governments are taking away, reports the Washington Post. After hearing that an initial batch of $11.8 million in federal funds would soon arrive in Loudoun County, Va., supervisors slashed $7.3 million from the schools budget. They also made clear that if more federal recovery money flows to schools, schools might be asked to give back an equal amount of county dollars. The Obama administration has heralded the stimulus–which funnels an unprecedented $100 billion into public schools, universities, and early childhood programs–as a historic opportunity to reform education. But the budget shifts in Loudoun offer a case study of a phenomenon that worries educators nationwide. When the math is done, will the fiscal jolt from Washington be enough to transform classrooms? "The money is falling off the truck between Washington and the local schoolhouse," said Robley S. Jones, director of government affairs for the Virginia Education Association, which represents teachers…

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