Sunday, March 8, 2009

Stimulus $$ and School Construction: Nevermind

Lights on a ball field? Installing additional school security? Decisions regarding what is or is not an appropriate use of federal stimulus money? Never mind.

For whatever reasons, monies for construction have been eliminated from the final bill.
The Wisconsin State Journal article reports the following excerpts:

One U.S. House version of the federal stimulus bill included $317 million for school construction, renovation and repair in Wisconsin.

But the final version — a compromise between the House and the Senate — replaced that money with two national loan programs for school infrastructure projects.

“I’m very disappointed,” Crystal Ritzenthaler, superintendent of Baraboo schools, said of the exclusion of construction money from the final bill. “Our district, like many districts, has aging facilities.”

Ritzenthaler said her district has $4.5 million in construction needs, including $1.6 million for roof repairs and $300,000 for surveillance cameras and improved entry locks.

Doyle also said he was disappointed there was no construction money for schools in the final package.

“I thought school construction would’ve been very important from a stimulus point of view,” he said. “It would’ve put people to work very quickly.”

3/8/09 Wisconsin State Journal article on stimulus funding for schools

ProPublica article detailing funding cuts (see graphic excerpt at right)