Sep 10, 2010 7:06 AM by Posted by Sharlee Barriere
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - The Jindal administration has formally applied for $147 million Louisiana is eligible to receive from a recently passed federal stimulus bill.
The state Department of Education announced the decision Thursday, though the application was signed by Gov. Bobby Jindal's chief budget adviser, Commissioner of Administration Paul Rainwater.
"Given that this program does not come with policy strings attached, we considered it important to seek these extra funding resources for our school districts," state Superintendent of Education Paul Pastorek said in a statement.
Congress passed the $26 billion stimulus bill in August. If received, the education money will flow directly to local school districts for their programs and can't be used to finance statewide education programs or other education department initiatives that were cut in the fiscal year that began July 1.
The state education department said federal guidelines require districts to use the money to pay salaries and benefits for teachers, school administrators and other staff. The dollars can be used to rehire former employees, keep current workers and hire new staff.
"It's important to note that this isn't recurring revenue, thus we must focus our resources on those initiatives and activities that have a measurable and significant impact on student achievement," Pastorek said.
A decision on Louisiana's application is expected within two weeks, according to Pastorek's office.