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Dozens of states redesigned their education policies in an effort to win Race to the Top dollars, but were denied. What do those states do now? That’s the central question posed in a piece by the Associated Press’s Kristen Wyatt. How, for example, will Colorado pay for an ambitious new merit pay system for teachers with no new dollars to fund it? Some losing states are plowing ahead with reforms, writes Wyatt, while others are thinking about retreat.
States will be receiving about $38 billion less stimulus funding in the coming fiscal year, creating the much-discussed “ARRA cliff,” as it is called in this Bloomberg news piece. Partially as a result, even though state revenues may be increasing, National Governors Association executive director Ray Scheppach says budget deficits could be in excess of $175 billion through 2013.
The U.S. Department of Energy’s Inspector General reports on a possible scam attempt in Georgia that was thwarted by an observant manager at a national home improvement store. An individual purchased and then returned four water heaters in four days, ostensibly for family members, using four different names and addresses. The manager notified the Inspector General that the customer might be obtaining receipts in order to receive Energy Star compliant appliance rebates from ARRA funds. The IG tracked down the customer, who claimed a mistake and returned the bulk of the rebate funds. But might other people be using this approach as a scam? Possibly, and the IG is concerned.
With so many different stimulus programs, it may not be surprising that there’s a bit of something for almost everyone. So, it probably shouldn’t be a surprise to see analysis from Politico showing that more than $140 million in stimulus funds went to faith-based groups. The article also delves into the question of whether funding streams have been politicized and whether government should be in the business of supporting religious groups.
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