How much will the stimulus package help? This much
Education groups throughout Florida have been hoping the $825-billion federal stimulus package now rolling through Congress would ease the pain of some truly gruesome budget cuts ahead. But it has been unclear, until now, how much federal relief may be coming our way.
In this new analysis, the Congressional Research Service calculated district-by-district estimates for the stimulus funds that are specifically targeted to federal programs for low-income and disabled students, and for construction. Here are the figures for the four districts around Tampa Bay:
- Pinellas: $56.1-million in 2009, $30.1-million in 2010
- Hillsborough: $93.6-million in 2009, $49-million in 2010
- Pasco: $24.3-million in 2009, $13.5-million in 2010
- Hernando: $9.1-million in 2009, $4.8-million in 2010
The total statewide: $1.3-billion in 2009, and another $670-million in 2010.
Again, these are ballpark figures. And true, the package hasn't passed yet. But early indications are that the bills, which are backed by President Obama, will get congressional approval, with the overall dollar amounts largely intact.
"This is excellent news," Ruth Melton, legislative director for the Florida School Boards Association, told the Gradebook after a quick, initial look at the numbers. "This is a lot of money. It will make a difference."
How much difference remains unclear, given that the federal money comes with strings. We'll get more reaction and keep you posted.
Ron Matus, State Education Reporter