President Obama’s 2009 economic stimulus package granted “millions of federal dollars” to public school districts in Florida. As part of the President’s vision “to accelerate improvement in schools,” the money was meant to provide a means to improve low performing schools and prevent teacher layoffs. However, this investigation by Mc Nelly Torres of the Florida Center for Investigative Reportingreveals that the money was not being spent in the way that it was intended.
” … with the aid of federal waivers, school districts were allowed to divert money from education reform to patch holes in general operating budgets. In fact, a review of financial records by the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting shows that the state’s school districts spent more than $890 million in federal money this way.”
Now, Torres reports, Florida schools are “laying off teachers” and “closing programs” as a result of financial troubles from the misuse of stimulus money.