Thursday, October 15, 2009

saved by the stimulus, or adventures in accounting

How has the stimulus affected public education?
Teachers appear to have benefited most from the effort to save jobs with the $787 billion recovery package, which sent billions of dollars to states that were on the verge of ordering heavy layoffs in education.

The national data on the impact of President Barack Obama's stimulus plan won't be available until later this month. But based on preliminary information obtained by The Associated Press from a handful of states, the stimulus spared tens of thousands of teachers from losing their jobs.
Not surprising. We saw this very scenario play out here in the Olympia School District earlier this year. A potentially heartbreaking RIF was avoided in large part due to a sudden influx of federal cash, mostly averting--or, perhaps more accurately, delaying--a crisis.

But the article is also a commentary on the government's new attempt to bring transparency to the doling-out process. The brutal honesty quote:
The White House says more than 1 million jobs have been saved or created so far, a figure that is so murky it can never be verified. That's because the White House estimate is based on economic models that try to calculate the effect of tax cuts and the ripple effect of government spending.
And the good news/bad news quote:
Officials have said the unprecedented accounting could become standard for government programs in the future, and this week's data release will offer the first indication of how it's working.
The good news: translucency bordering on transparency. The bad news: somehow this is a new idea.


Anonymous said...

Did any stimulus money help debate programs?

Jim Anderson said...

Debate, plus a lot of other extracurricular activities that depend on coach stipends.