Delay in stimulus fund request called strategic by education commissioner
Education Commissioner Eric Smith, responding to questions about why Florida has not submitted its application for federal education stabilization funds, said this morning that they have "strategically waited" to get all the right information.
"We’ve had the application and we’ve been working on it with the U.S. Department of Education and the Governor’s office for weeks," Smith said. "And it is ready to go. It’s complete. The waiver is what we don’t have. We originally were told the waiver would come with the application. … It just hasn’t materialized yet. Now we’re told it will be May 1."
Because Florida has not maintained education spending at 2005-06 levels, as required by the federal stimulus program, the state must apply for a waiver to qualify for $2 billion in funds already figured into House and Senate education budgets for 2009-10. Read more on the Buzz blog.