Many state school systems are facing
a "funding cliff" next year when their federal stimulus money runs out,
which was the kind of dramatic budget shortfall the stimulus money was
meant to prevent in the first place. Most states spent the bulk of the
funds last year and this year, and are left with little. But a few
states spent everything, leaving nothing for the coming academic year,
according to the New York Times.
The leaders of some of these struggling states, like South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, were among the most vocal opponents of the stimulus and feigned reluctance when the federal money was dispersed. And since many states used those federal funds to bolster the program that helps poor and disabled children, it's hard to imagine where those children would be if it weren't for the stimulus money. Now, those kids could be poised to suffer most since the budget pain was merely postponed, not averted. And don't look for Republicans and centrist Democrats in Congress to vote for the second stimulus package their states could use.
Of course, this disconnect is part of a larger problem. Many of the reddest states, whose citizens espouse the loudest anti-tax rhetoric, benefit the most from federal money, and have for a long time. That was part of the reason the video of Obama schooling the G.O.P. over their hypocrisy on the stimulus was so satisfying. We could use more of that from the Democratic leadership.
-- Monica Potts
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