President Obama's stimulus plan includes money for public schools -- leaving individual states to apply for a cut of the funds. California is still pleading its case for some of the $3.4 billion that's left in the pot. In the first round, 40 states along with the District of Columbia applied for the funds. Moving into round two, 35 states along with the District are trying to get their hands on what could be the last of the education reform dollars.
In his push for California's cut Governor Schwarzenegger has submitted a detailed plan outlining what will be done with the funds. He also makes the point, as discussed on The Educated Guess, that "California is too big to be ignored." Hard to argue with considering one out of every 10 public school students in the U.S. gets their education in Californina.
He also addresses the fact that the state's teacher's association has "actively worked to prevent union support" for what the state is trying to get done. His support for Senate Bill 955 doesn't do much to endear him to an already hostile union. The Department of Education will announce which states are finalists the week of July 26th. If California comes up short, the Governor can only hope that Congress reauthorizes this economic stimulus program as President Obama has asked it to do.
Governor Schwarzenegger is seeking support in launching statewide reforms and a federal "shot in the arm" for education might just be what it takes to get the ball rolling.