The federal government gave schools around the country $10 billion to bolster their budgets this spring, in the hope that it would allow them to avoid layoffs or hire new teachers. But many of the nation’s biggest districts aren’t doing that, the New York Times reports. Instead, they’re squirreling the money away in anticipation of even bigger budget deficits in the next academic year.
In New Jersey, for example, 3,000 teachers were laid off in May, and it’s unclear if any will be hired back. “It’s a real double-edged sword,” said a spokesman for Gov. Chris Christie. “This money will not be there next year.” Our nation’s high schools, meanwhile, are in dismal shape. Less than 25% of 2010 graduates had the skills to pass entry-level college courses, according to new data reported in the Wall Street Journal.