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ERIC Number: EJ832759
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Feb-27
Pages: 1
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0009-5982
Stimulus Bill Brings Relief to Some States but Falls Far Short for Others
Kelderman, Eric
Chronicle of Higher Education, v55 n25 pA24 Feb 2009
The nearly $54-billion that Congress is directing to the states for education as part of the stimulus bill President Obama signed last week may stave off the worst budget cuts proposed for public colleges. But the money is unlikely to save institutions from the state budget ax entirely. And some states slated to get the most aid from that pot of money, known as the "state fiscal-stabilization fund," are not necessarily the ones facing the greatest budget gaps or even proposing the sharpest reductions for higher education. While public colleges welcome extra money from federal coffers, they note that new dollars may also come with new strings attached. Money will also have to flow through the complex political process in the nation's statehouses before it is appropriated to educational institutions, giving legislators and governors the opportunity to influence what programs will benefit. Close to three-quarters of the stabilization fund is designated for states to funnel to public colleges and school districts, which could use the money in various ways, including to restore budget cuts, prevent layoffs, or modernize facilities. The rest of the money will be given to governors to spend on high-priority needs, which could include construction at public or private colleges, and to the secretary of education to reward performance. The author notes that the size of the states' fiscal problems may overshadow the solution that Congress and the president have crafted, and because money from the stabilization fund is largely distributed to states based on population, smaller states facing some of the largest budget gaps will not get as much money as some bigger states with less-severe fiscal troubles. Another difficulty may be the law's requirement that states provide as much money for higher education in each fiscal year through 2011 as they did in the 2006 budget year to be eligible for the stabilization funds. Among the biggest uncertainties about the state stimulus money is what will happen when the governors and legislatures divvy it up, and whether they will favor more funds for the public schools over higher education. The stabilization fund is a portion of the $787-billion law meant to revive the flagging U.S. economy with a large injection of federal money
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A