Stimulus Plan Would Provide Flood of Aid to Education

Posted by Kendall Harmon

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 proposed emergency expenditures on nearly every realm of education, including school renovation, special education, Head Start and grants to needy college students, would amount to the largest increase in federal aid since Washington began to spend significantly on education after World War II.

Critics and supporters alike said that by its sheer scope, the measure could profoundly change the federal government’s role in education, which has traditionally been the responsibility of state and local government.

Read it all.


Filed under: * Culture-WatchEducation* Economics, PoliticsEconomyThe Fiscal Stimulus Package of 2009

34 Comments
Posted January 28, 2009 at 10:28 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. Katherine wrote:

To rush through a massive systemic change like this under the cover of “economic emergency” is dishonest and unwise.  The same goes for the massive funding increases in other areas.

January 28, 12:26 pm | [comment link]
2. Br. Michael wrote:

So what else is new?  The Presedent and Congress have cart blanch to spend, spread largess and bring in those votes.  You only lose votes and play the Grinch by not giving voters the money they ask for.

January 28, 1:06 pm | [comment link]
3. Richard Hoover wrote:

Katherine is right.  I believe, we could have worked through this “crisis” by keeping our free enterprise/limited government ideals in tact, by tightening our belts and by providing judicious relief to tide-over the unemployed and the foreclosed.  Obama’s present bailout amounts to massive government role-building, redistribution, reparations, military retreat and national bankruptcy; he would build a new America on the ruins of the old, the America envisaged by his radical Chicago mentors.

January 28, 1:14 pm | [comment link]
4. Sarha7nj wrote:

If this means my son’s autistic summer school program won’t be canceled or stripped to bare bones like it was last summer, I’ll be grateful. When you have neurotypical children, you can just tell them to go out and play. However, that has never been my parenting experience. I am dependent on the public school program and am indebted to the 12 women who make up the team of teacher, aides, therapists, etc. that work with him.

January 28, 1:18 pm | [comment link]
5. Byzantine wrote:

Government spending crowds out private initiative.  The idea that if education were privatized all special needs programs would disappear is error.

January 28, 1:23 pm | [comment link]
6. Richard Hoover wrote:

Br. Michael’s comment raises a poignant question: what has happened to our general trust in the common, good sense of the American people?  My faith began to waiver with the rise of a particularly nasty popular culture. The election of Obama has deepened my gloom—” You only lose votes and play the Grinch by not giving voters the money they ask for”—says Br. Michael.

January 28, 1:27 pm | [comment link]
7. Katherine wrote:

Here’s the Wall Street Journal’s summary of what’s in this “stimulus” bill.  This is not a well-crafted economic stimulus; it’s a grab-bag of every Democratic spending dream.

A Keynesian stimulus works on a deflationary recession if spending stimulus is applied quickly.  The only “stimulus” which might help in the current situation, beyond the TARP funding, which needs work and transparency, would be a fast business tax credit to stimulate investment.  The WSJ estimates no more than $90 billion of this bill fits the description of infrastructure and economic stimulus.  The rest is pork, pure and simple.

January 28, 1:35 pm | [comment link]
8. Clueless wrote:

http://www.drudgereport.com/flashsb.htm

One third of this “stimulus bill” ($335 million) is for sexually transmitted disease education and prevention programs at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC has used STD education funding for programs that many Members of Congress find objectionable and arguably unrelated to a mission of economic stimulus [such as funding events called ‘Booty Call’ and ‘Great Sex’ put on by an organization that received $698,000 in government funds.]

“Zero” is beginning to make “Dubya” look both thrifty and a genius.

January 28, 1:47 pm | [comment link]
9. David+ wrote:

No matter how much the government spends it will be to no avail.  The tide of economic retraction is in its early stages all over the world.  The money the government spends will have to be repaid by running the money printing presses 24 hours a day.  In the end, even our currency’s value will be ruined.

January 28, 1:50 pm | [comment link]
10. Br. Michael wrote:

I don’t suppose anyone remembers the German inflation after WWI.

January 28, 2:13 pm | [comment link]
11. Dilbertnomore wrote:

“Stimulus Plan Would Provide Flood of Aid to Education”

It certainly would. This aspect would also do exactly nothing, zip, nada, zero to stimulate the economy. This part of the bogus stimulus bill is nothing but pure payoff to the education lobby - a lobby that has nothing to do with the betterment of the lives of our children. Their motto is “The process is the product.”

January 28, 2:19 pm | [comment link]
12. Carolina Anglican wrote:

$5 billion to ACORN…enough said.

January 28, 3:06 pm | [comment link]
13. John Wilkins wrote:

It’s a good move.  It will also relieve many local and state budgets, many of whom refuse to raise taxes. 

Richard and Brother Michael ask about what ever happened to the good trust in the American people.  Who are the American people?  Won’t American people be the recipients of such spending?

Obama is trusting teachers and students to spend the money as they think wise.  They are entrepreneurs in human capital - education.  It will help students go to school.  The government is choosing to trust lots of people, rather than the likes of Thain.

Katherine is wrong to assume that a tax credit will immediately allow businesses to spend.  They are busy laying off workers, and trying to build capital.  And I don’t think the credit has gotten very fluid.  the government will be just as fast in some ways.

Fortunately, there are also tax credits in the stimulus.

January 28, 3:18 pm | [comment link]
14. Br. Michael wrote:

John, then they should spend even more to make it really, really good.  I know, let’s have the govenment pay everone say 50K each.  That would be a stimulus.  After the government is just made of money.  After all paper and ink are cheap.

January 28, 3:25 pm | [comment link]
15. Sick & Tired of Nuance wrote:

Bread and circuses!

January 28, 3:35 pm | [comment link]
16. Br. Michael wrote:

Oh and this:
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Major U.S. banks are still hemorrhaging red ink, despite massive taxpayer aid, and President Barack Obama is under pressure to take a high-stakes political gamble—asking for another bailout. http://www.reuters.com/article/ousiv/idUSTRE50Q71520090127
So what’s another 800 billion.  Better go oil those printing presses.

January 28, 3:38 pm | [comment link]
17. Sherri2 wrote:

Obama is trusting teachers and students to spend the money as they think wise.

John, I’m not a Republican, I’m more liberal than many who post here and I have hopes for this administration - but this sure is shedding a shadow over those hopes. Have you been reading how many people have lost jobs and are about to lose their jobs? Are they all supposed to become teachers? A stimulus bailout needs to actually stimulate the *economy*. We need to get people back to work. Just “spending money” isn’t going to be an answer at all if it’s not directed meaningfully. How about stimulating businesses and what few industries we still have? How about figuring out how to shore up the financial system? This looks like fiddling while Rome ....

January 28, 4:26 pm | [comment link]
18. Jeffersonian wrote:

It’s a payoff to teachers’ unions and universities, both leftist constituencies, so they can continue to overcharge for their product.  We’re seeing the government create yet another bubble.

January 28, 4:32 pm | [comment link]
19. Sidney wrote:

Obama is trusting teachers and students to spend the money as they think wise.

Well, I’m in higher education, and I can assure you, a great deal if not all of this money does not go to teachers to do a better job; it goes toward bureaucrats in education who do ‘research’ which is then used to make education ‘better’ (it’s just red tape supported by phony studies.)  I write TPS reports every semester for these sorts of mandates; the reports just get buried.

The misuse of Department of Education money is one of the great deceits of our time.

January 28, 4:41 pm | [comment link]
20. Tegularius wrote:

One third of this “stimulus bill” ($335 million) is for sexually transmitted disease education and prevention programs at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Someone doesn’t seem to know the difference between a Million and a Billion.  This is not “one third”—it’s much closer to one three-thousandth.

January 28, 5:02 pm | [comment link]
21. Clueless wrote:

#20 Mea Culpa.  Mea Stupida.  Neva Minda.

January 28, 5:36 pm | [comment link]
22. Jeffersonian wrote:

I suppose the question is whether “stimulus” means funding overdue infrastructure projects, as Obama claimed early on, or simply passing out hundreds of billions of dollars to liberal constituencies, as this bill has obviously become.  Since Obama seems to be going along with whatever Reid and Pelosi are ladling up, I’d say the answer is “B”.

January 28, 5:48 pm | [comment link]
23. teatime wrote:

As a former educator, I do believe that if the feds insist on saddling the schools with mandates and micromanaging expected goals and outcomes, then they NEED to increase funding. Of course, the best thing for the schools is for the feds to essentially butt out, but that will never happen.
On the big picture, though, are the Dems turning psychotic? We have the Speaker of the House insisting that spending hundreds of millions of dollars on birth control is an “economic stimulus” while her friends are attempting to infuse education at all levels with big bucks.

January 28, 6:15 pm | [comment link]
24. libraryjim wrote:

The CBO estimates that it will cost $250 - 275,000 per job created.  If that money went to corporations and small businesses, they could create many more than just one job with that money.

It’s not a stimulus package, it’s a pork barrel spending package.

January 28, 6:34 pm | [comment link]
25. John Wilkins wrote:

Br. Michael, they hsould spend more.  To restore our infrastructure we’d need to spend probably 2.2 trillion dollars. 

Perhaps if the money we’d spent in Iraq went to infrastructure in 2002, we’d have a strong economy, an infrastructure that benefited Americans and banks would have been investing in treasuries rather than MBS.

January 28, 7:59 pm | [comment link]
26. Br. Michael wrote:

[Comment deleted - please address issues not commenters’ character - Elf]

January 28, 8:17 pm | [comment link]
27. selah wrote:

As an educator, I am watching this financial crunch force my school district to take 287 bureaucrats out of the schools’ central offices and place these people in the classroom.  On principle, this is a good idea, as for every teacher within my school district, there are two school employees working outside of the schools.  We need to make sure that the money slated for schools actually goes to schools…and not to inflated bureaucracies.

I am just hoping that these former-bureaucrats-turned-teachers know something about pedagogy.

January 28, 8:24 pm | [comment link]
28. Br. Michael wrote:

Anyway John, your side wins:

WASHINGTON – In a swift victory for President Barack Obama, the Democratic-controlled House approved a historically huge $819 billion stimulus bill Wednesday night with spending increases and tax cuts at the heart of the young administration’s plan to revive a badly ailing economy. The vote was 244-188, with Republicans unanimous in opposition despite Obama’s pleas for bipartisan support.

January 28, 8:34 pm | [comment link]
29. David+ wrote:

[Comment deleted - crudely expressed - Elf]

January 28, 9:00 pm | [comment link]
30. Jeffersonian wrote:

Br. Michael, they hsould spend more.  To restore our infrastructure we’d need to spend probably 2.2 trillion dollars. 

Actually, a civil engineering body just put the number at $1.6 trillion.  But whatever the number is, isn’t it a misallocation of resources to direct these monies at political allies instead of the actual infrastructure project, given that was the stated aim to begin with?

January 28, 9:57 pm | [comment link]
31. libraryjim wrote:

Well, hooray for the Republicans! They found a backbone!

January 28, 11:13 pm | [comment link]
32. Katherine wrote:

Yes, #31, and hooray for eleven Democrats who also voted against this monstrous bill.  Like Heath Schuler, who apparently wants to be re-elected in 2010 in Western North Carolina.  Good for him!

January 29, 1:46 am | [comment link]
33. Korbin M wrote:

Education is really important in a country. This will give a productive and decent citizen. The new administration is really eager for the change they had proposed. President Obama is very particular to Education. Not only stimulating the education, but also more important stimulating the falling economy. The federal government has been reacting to the call for more transparency in what is done with our money, the kind of disclosure you get from a lender of payday advance loans, after half of the bailout fund disappeared before its usage was tracked.  Banks across the nation and Puerto Rico have been receiving Treasury funds to keep them afloat, like payday advance loans.  Read more about payday loans for banks at the Money Blog.

January 29, 4:20 am | [comment link]
34. austin wrote:

Similar spending in the UK over the 10 years of “New Labour” government has done almost nothing to improve public services (and may have made education worse).  Salaries for doctors have increased rapidly, thus quieting dissent.

This strategy has created a huge client base for the ruling party and improved its chances of re-election.  No accident that this was the first Labour government to win three elections. But when the private sector money stops flowing, as it is doing now, the strategy—and the country—are bankrupted.

I suspect most of this pork stimulus will be slowly and badly spent, massive inflation will follow in a few years’ time, and the burden of debt will crush the prospects of younger peoople.

January 29, 12:09 pm | [comment link]
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