Are We Entering a New Era in Federal Education Spending?

 According to this New York Times article, “The economic stimulus plan that Congress has scheduled for a vote on Wednesday would shower the nation’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 Education’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.

“We’ve been arguing that the federal government hasn’t been living up to its commitments, but these increases go a substantial way toward meeting them,� said Joel Packer, a lobbyist for the National Education Association, the nation’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.

Click here to read the article at NYTimes.

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