Collectively, we should be increasingly alarmed about the education portion of the ARRA. ????States have begun to file their applications for the first big batch (~$33 billion) of stabilization funds.
First, although the application requires the governor to sign assurances promising to make progress in four areas, remarkably, it requires neither a plan for accomplishing those goals nor details on how these billions of dollars will be spent. ????The states that have applied so far have obliged, including none of this relevant information in their packages.
Second, the Department sent a letter to states on April 1 saying that states don't have to demonstrate progress on the assurances to get the second batch (~$16 billion) of stabilization funds. ????They only have to have systems in place to collect data.
Third, governors lack the power to require districts to use these funds wisely. ????From the guidance released in April:
III-D-14.???? May a Governor or State education agency (SEA) limit how an LEA uses its Education Stabilization funds?
No.???? Because the amount of Education Stabilization funding that an LEA receives is determined strictly on the basis of formulae and the ARRA gives LEAs considerable...