Â According to this New York Times article, “The economic stimulus plan that Congress has scheduled for a vote on Wednesday would shower the nationâ€™s school districts, child care centers and university campuses with $150 billion in new federal spending, a vast two-year investment that would more than double the Department of Educationâ€™s current budget.”
The bill would increase 2009 fiscal year spending on Title I, a program of specialized classroom efforts to help educate poor children, to $20 billion from about $14.5 billion, and raise spending on education for disabled children to $17 billion from $11 billion.
Those increases respond to longtime demands by teachers unions, school boards and others that Washington fully finance the mandates laid out for states and districts in the Bush-era No Child Left Behind law, and in the main federal law regulating special education.
â€œWeâ€™ve been arguing that the federal government hasnâ€™t been living up to its commitments, but these increases go a substantial way toward meeting them,â€� said Joel Packer, a lobbyist for the National Education Association, the nationâ€™s largest teachers union.
The federal stimulus plan’s implications on education are massive and will probably change the course of history for countless young Americans. I’m glad that we, as a nation, are starting to make education a high priority.