Eagle Forum Warns Economic Stimulus Package Will Profoundly Impact Education

On February 17, President Barack Obama signed the $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (known as the Stimulus). Only three Republican senators voted for the bill. It passed the House without any Republican votes. The bill designates a total of $128.2 billion for education and job training. About $91 billion of that amount goes toward K-12 education, including $53.6 billion in aid for K-12 for states that are in a deficit, $13 billion for schools serving low-income children, and $12 billion for special education. Another $2.1 billion goes toward Head Start and Early Head Start, the federal programs for children from birth to age five.
Experts on both Left and Right agree that this massive influx of federal aid will remove even more control of education from local and state governments, transferring the balance of power further toward the federal level “It not only makes it more legitimate for the federal government to ask for accountability,” said Jack Jennings of the Center on Education Policy, “It also [opens up] the question of what should the feds be doing to help schools.” Dan Lips, a senior policy analyst at the Heritage Foundation, said that the stimulus bill’s provisions mean that more education decisions will ultimately be made in Washington, D.C. (Los Angeles Times, 2-13-09)