Education Secretary Arne Duncan on April 17 released nearly $4 billion to
The fund will replenish state budgets that have been cut or threatened because of the recession. Most of the money is intended for schools, since education accounts for a big share of state spending. President Barack Obama promises it will rescue hundreds of thousands of teaching jobs.
Yet some governors insist they need to hold onto the money or use it to
More states are expected to receive money from the fund in the coming days.
Last month, California Education Secretary Glen Thomas wrote the lawmakers that the money would, indeed, be spent on local school needs such as saving teachers’ jobs.
Miller said on April 17 that "help is on the way." Nearly 30,000 teachers in
And Schwarzenegger said he will send the dollars out quickly.
"We’re the first to pass these dollars immediately to local school districts, and we’re the first to protect teachers’ jobs with Recovery Act dollars," Schwarzenegger said in a statement.
The largest teachers’ unions, the American Federation of Teachers and National Education Association, are urging governors across the country to distribute the stimulus money to schools.
States would "do a terrible disservice to students" by diverting precious dollars away from schools, AFT president Randi Weingarten and NEA president Dennis van Roekel said in a letter to governors.
An estimated 9 percent of teachers, about 294,000, may face layoffs because of budget cuts, according to a
He has already distributed billions of dollars to states, sending money through federal funding formulas for poor children and children with disabilities.
To get money from the special state aid fund,
States must show progress on those fronts to get the next round of stimulus dollars to be distributed in the fall.
Obama’s economic stimulus bill provides an unprecedented amount of money for schools–double the education budget under President George W. Bush–over the next two years.
One governor, South Carolina‘s Mark Sanford, has refused money from the stimulus. A high school student there filed a lawsuit on April 16 over Sanford’s refusal.