Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Budget Lesson #1

When I became technology director for a new school and $300,000 to spend, one of the first things I asked was, "Can I spend $200,000 and put $100,000 in the bank?" Of course the answer, for better or worse, was "No." You gotta spend it in the current fiscal year or someone else is going to end up with it.

Apparently nobody told Arne Duncan this and his crew at the Department of Ed got a little too cute with their $4 billion stimulus slush fund. Was it really just a coincidence that Congress started taking his toys away the first day of the new fiscal year? I wonder.

The first priority for that money was stimulus. If you don't spend it, you should lose it.


...we provided him with a $4.3 billion pot of money to use virtually any way he wanted to stimulate educational progress--$4.3 billion. He has spent a small amount of that.

You almost get the impression that the Department of Education is filled with people who don't really have much experience in government. If Rhode Island wins RttT, and we decide to sit on the money for an extra year or two with out spending it, do we get to keep it?

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