"It has been suggested that the state has some ability to intercept Stabilization Fund dollars," the letter from twenty-six California Members of Congress says. "It does not."
The latest on California politics and government
March 23, 2009
Congressional Democrats are telling state leaders to keep their hands off federal stimulus funds meant for schools and colleges.
The issue arose this month when Legislative Analyst Mac Taylor said that California's falling economy could allow the state to cut its school funding by about $3 billion in 2009-10 and backfill the money with federal "stabilization funds." No decision has been made.
The lett-------------------------er from 26 California Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives apparently aims to nip the idea in the bud. Signers included Rep. Zoe Lofgren, chairwoman of the delegation, and Rep. George Miller, chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee.
"It has been suggested that the state has some ability to intercept Stabilization Fund dollars," the letter said. "It does not."
The letter was sent March 17 to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, state Superintendent of Public Schools Jack O'Connell and the governor's education secretary, Glen Thomas.
Congress intends that federal stabilization funds be transmitted quickly to local school districts and colleges, which should decide for themselves how best to spend the money, the letter said.
The stimulus funds are meant to "help stabilize local government budgets, to minimize or avoid harmful cuts to education programs and services, to keep teachers in the classroom, and to support modernization, renovation and repair of school facilities," the letter said.
"Any delay in funding local educational agencies may have dire consequences for children and teachers in our great state," the letter concluded.