Proposed Federal Stimulus Bill Would Pump $268M Into N.J. Public Education System If Approved

lakewood_middle_schoolA lifeline may be extended to some New Jersey teachers next week if the House approves a $26 billion federal stimulus bill. But the narrow timeframe in which the infusion of school funds can be used before the new school year begins has left some administrators with little more than guarded optimism.

“I want to see the criteria of this funding and I’d like to see the parameters,” said Johanna Ruberto, superintendent of the Manville school district. “We’ll be prudent and gladly accept whatever we can get and honor whatever timeline we can. But for a lot of school districts, it’s hard to just turn on a dime.”

On Thursday, the U.S. Senate approved the stimulus package by a vote of 61-39, allocating $268 million for the state’s beleaguered education sector. That’s enough money to save about some 3,200 school jobs, according to U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), who supported the bill, which is scheduled for a vote in the House Tuesday.

But because the school year would be starting just a few weeks after the bill lands on President Barack Obama’s desk, questions remain for school administrators — and the state — in terms of whether that money can be spent both quickly and effectively with budgets set and former teachers possibly having new employment. Full story in Star Ledger.

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  1. Another way to prop-up a system collapsing under its own weight! Until the NJ Public Education Systems is faced with having to make hard financial decisions – it will continue to irresponsibly lavish benefits and pay raises that taxpayers cannot be sustained.

  2. its funny but sad how the right wing has brainwashed people in beliving that eliminating ” lavish benefits ” is the key to lower taxes.

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