What is the stimulus package going to do for the schools specifically? How can me and my students see the changes in our community? What would be a good way for us to track these changes?
Peggy Pelt responds:
The plan includes money to finance school building and
renovation. Your state's department of education or your local school board may
have information relevant to your community. However, it will take some time
for details regarding the distribution of the program's funds to be worked out.
So, this information may not be available immediately. (See recovery.gov for the proposed time line of
actions.) Another topic that might affect school systems is the use of money to
improve access to high-speed internet.
David Tucker responds:
Not wishing to sound like a broken record, but until
non-governmental groups can sift this information for us, using recovery.gov is the best option at this
point. From the bill, $13 billion has been allocated for primary and secondary
school grants and capital improvements (buildings, equipment, and servicing
agencies). There is also a provision for $11 billion has been allocated for "special
education." See p. 67 of the bill below.
One of the major changes you could see immediately is
if your state or locality will be able to save jobs of paraprofessionals,
graduation coaches, after school program ,etc that would otherwise been headed
for cuts under budget shortfalls most states and locales are experiencing
nationwide. Also look for capital improvements to your schools (new
construction, renovations, or upgrades that have been long overdue).
Brucse Damasio responds:
According to my local newspaper this morning as I type my
reply to you, over $100 billion is allocated for education across the nation.
That is a big chunk of money. I would look in Education Week and see what
articles they have to use for you interests. (www.edweek.org) I would see what the local or regional papers carry on specifics for school
district wishes as well as what they are doing to budgetary needs for this year
and into the next school year as well. Where are cuts suggested? Who is being
considered for a cut or what programs are going to be gone or on hold? How
about hiring or furloughing of teachers and the long run cost of that action?
I suggest looking at the costs and benefits of not only the
inflow of monies but what occurs with cuts and reductions as well. Perhaps
students could study their local system and then 1-2 local or other counties or
systems to see and compare their actions and consequences?