RI to get teacher jobs funding
The federal government has approved $33 million in federal funding to save teacher jobs in Rhode Island even though Governor Don Carcieri says he wants to use the money to plug a hole in the state Medicaid budget. The move has been widely criticized by Democratic lawmakers. Carcieri Spokeswoman Amy Kempe says the governor still plans to recommend it strongly to the general assembly.
“We have to remember that in fiscal year 2012, the state is looking at a $320 million projected deficit primarily related to the end of the federal stimulus program,” Kempe says. “The governor is strongly proposing that school districts stay within their enacted budgets and that $32.9 million goes to what the General Assembly originally intended it to go toward which was the Medicaid gap.”
State education officials say the teacher jobs funds will be made available to school districts, who will, in turn, have to show that they are using it for the purpose Congress intended, which is to save and create new teacher jobs.
The General Assembly will ultimately decide how to balance the state budget, but lawmakers are not likely to reconvene until January.