Alabama will receive about $1 billion in education funding from the federal stimulus bill, which will help the state stave off the worst effects of proration. About $600 million, the bulk of the federal government’s education stimulus funding for Alabama, will come in the form of a state fiscal stabilization fund, the Dothan Eagle reports. This money will be awarded to local school districts and public colleges and universities. Jim Wrye, a spokesman for the Alabama Education Association, said this money will help school systems avoid draconian layoffs they had been anticipating in May as a result of across-the-board cuts in state education funding announced by Gov. Bob Riley in December. However, cuts made by local school systems will likely remain in place, and the implementation of some state education programs will be delayed. Wrye said the state will have to scale back its plans to introduce the Alabama Math, Science and Technology Initiative into every school in Alabama. Also, Riley’s plans to offer universal pre-kindergarten programs will also be put on the back burner. And the state must also eventually repay the $218 million it has borrowed from rainy day funds to offset proration cuts.
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