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Higher Ed in the News

For Secretary of Education, stimulus bill means power, money, and risk

February 17, 2009

The $100 billion in emergency aid for public schools and colleges in the economic stimulus bill could transform Arne Duncan into an exceptional figure in the history of federal education policy: a secretary of education loaded with money and the power to spend large chunks as he sees fit.

The bill doubles federal spending on disadvantaged and disabled children, includes increases in the main federal college scholarship program and for Head Start, and, for the first time, makes billions in federal dollars available for school renovation.

Duncan must develop procedures on the fly for disbursing a budget that has, overnight, more than doubled, and communicate the rules quickly to all 50 states and the nation’s 14,000 school districts. And he faces thousands of tricky decisions about how much money to give to whom and for what.

Read the full story in the New York Times.