Florida pols push for state's share of federal stimulus
With billions at stake, Florida's politicians are pulling out the stops to make sure the state receives a share of the federal spending package that's rolling through Congress.
U.S. Sen. Mel Martinez has an amendment in the pipeline that would allow states to benefit from the program even if they aren't spending at least the same amount on education as they did in 2005-06, the Tallahassee Democrat reports.
Florida, California and Nevada would be helped by such a move. And let's face it, they're spending less than in the past mostly because they've been hit hardest by the international financial crisis.
State Sen. Evelyn Lynn, chair of the Senate Higher Education committee, is urging superintendents to lobby members of Congress to support such a change, the Orlando Sentinel reports. She calls it an "urgent problem."
In that same Sentinel piece, though, Seminole superintendent Bill Vogel raises a key concern: Will the state commit to its part, too?
After all, the federal package is what financial types like to call nonrecurring revenue. Once it's spent, it's gone. And the stimulus would replace only a portion of what most Florida districts stand to lose in state funding. In a way, it would just fill a vacuum and stimulate little.
Good luck, Larry Cretul.