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States Send Millions Back to Feds!
Lack of Federal Funds?
Not Really.
by Suzanne Whitney, Research Editor, Wrightslaw

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One complaint we frequently hear in discussions about improving educational outcomes is the "lack of federal funding" complaint. We hear that states are doing the best they can with the meager federal education funds they receive.

This argument assumes that:

  • running a successful educational system is inefficient; and

  • it is cheaper to do ineffective things that leave many children behind.

Now we learn that the inadequate federal funding complaint is a myth.

In an article that received far less attention than it deserves, Associated Press reporter Nancy Zuckerbrod found that every state returned federal education funds to the U.S. Treasury last year, rather than spend these funds on education.

Some states returned millions of dollars. Check your state

Are you a

  • Teacher,
  • Parent,
  • Superintendent,
  • School board member,
  • Principal, or
  • Special education director?

Could your school or school district have used that federal education money?

Are you a taxpayer who must now pay additional state taxes to make up for the federal dollars your state sent back to Washington?

Do you want this to happen again?

If the answer is "no," contact the people in your state who are responsible for these decisions. Tell them that:
  • their complaints about inadequate federal funding are not credible, and
  • you expect them to spend the federal funds they receive on programs that benefit children in your state.
State
Funds Returned
Alabama
$1,517,152
Alaska
$396,396
American Samoa
$901,109
Arizona
$3,013,975
Arkansas
$56,241
California
$1,680,554
Colorado
$912,933
Connecticut
$915,805
Delaware
$522,817
District of Columbia
$3,077,389
Florida
$3,525,865
Georgia
$3,643,267
Guam
$968,860
Hawaii
$229,132
Idaho
$241,109
Illinois
$1,052,991
Indiana
$1,485,081
Iowa
$337,920
Kansas
$79,947
Kentucky
$374,989
Louisiana
$6,060,902
Maine
$31,579
Mariana Islands
$77,922
Maryland
$1,772,645
Massachusetts
$126,313
Michigan
$5,093,607
Micronesia
$364,604
Minnesota
$116,408
Mississippi
$793,899
Missouri
$4,696,297
Montana
$279,013
Nebraska
$271,161
Nevada
$685,696
New Hampshire
$233,702
New Jersey
$3,447,871
New Mexico
$6,215,135
New York
$1,653,779
North Carolina
$80,381
North Dakota
$1,062,722
Ohio
$580,218
Oklahoma
$451,311
Oregon
$692,200
Palau
$65,488
Pennsylvania
$3,457,847
Puerto Rico
$38,636,034
Rhode Island
$37,488
South Carolina
$372,997
South Dakota
$131,527
Tennessee
$3,869,768
Texas
$11,007,911
Utah
$108,715
Vermont
$18,258
Virginia
$3,452,832
Virgin Islands
$2,038,587
Washington
$424,657
West Virginia
$118,118
Wisconsin
$465,247
Wyoming
$386,579
Source: U. S. Department of Education

Links

Article by AP reporter Nancy Zuckerbrod in the Detroit News

State contacts and accountability information for all states

See also NCLB Information Directories


Meet Sue Whitney

Sue Whitney of Merrimack, New Hampshire, is the research editor for Wrightslaw.

Sue is the co-author of Wrightslaw: No Child Left Behind (ISBN: 978-1-892320-12-4) that is published by Harbor House Law Press.

In Doing Your Homework, she writes about reading, research based instruction, No Child Left Behind, and creative strategies for using federal education standards to advocate for children and to improve public schools. Her articles have been reprinted by SchwabLearning.org, EducationNews.org, Bridges4Kids.org, The Beacon: Journal of Special Education Law and Practice, the Schafer Autism Report, and have been used in CLE presentations to attorneys. Sue Whitney's bio.

Sue has served on New Hampshire's Special Education State Advisory Committee on the Education of Students/Children with Disabilities (SAC) and has been a volunteer educational surrogate parent. She currently works with families as a special education advocate.


Copyright © 2002-2014 by Suzanne Whitney.

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