Education Secretary Arne Duncan today released nearly $4 billion to California, the first state to benefit from a special fund for states that was created by the economic stimulus law. The fund will replenish state budgets that have been cut or threatened because of the recession. Most of the money is intended for schools, since education accounts for a big share of state spending.
President Obama promises it will rescue hundreds of thousands of teaching jobs. More states are expected to receive money from the fund in the coming days. In California, state officials had initially said they could use the money to fill budget holes. But the state's congressional delegation pressed Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to distribute the money directly to school districts.