Putting Education Reform To The Test

Did Florida Schools Spend Stimulus Money Wisely?

Cristobal Ceron / FCIR

Florida schools spent money intended for low-income student programs on teachers and other operating costs.

Florida’s largest school districts spent just half the federal stimulus money intended to improve low-income student performance on those programs, according to an investigation by the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting.

Instead, districts spent more than $200 million of the $400 million of the money — known as Title I — on employee salaries and other operational costs.

The result is that money intended for summer school or teacher training was never spent on those programs.

FCIR also found that seven of every nine Florida school districts received federal exemptions from rules regulating how the stimulus money could be spent.

What do you think of this story? Did Florida districts have any other choice? Did the federal government send a mixed message about how the money should be used?


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