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No Thanks, Mr. President

Prince William County is a suburb of Washington D.C. It may not be the largest or wealthiest county in Northern Virginia, but it deserves some attention for this one:

Prince William County officials are balking at accepting $17 million in federal school funds, claiming that an Obama administration initiative to save teaching jobs encourages irresponsible spending.

The $10 billion federal program, designed to fund about 160,000 education jobs, has met with obstacles in several places across the country since it was enacted last month. Many state and local officials have found it difficult to add teaching positions in time for the current school year because the money has just started to flow.

Officials in some states are accepting millions of dollars in federal money while lowering their own contributions to education. Others are using the money for personnel costs, such as pension benefits, that do not add jobs.

Well, bravo! City officials are blunt. The chairman of the board of supervisors is quoted: “The president’s program is a sham. … If the [school] district plans to use one-time funds to create ongoing expenses, we’re going to reject the funds.” The only question is: why aren’t more local officials as responsible as those in Prince William County?


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