The RttT money can only be used to create new standardized tests, purchase data tracking systems for those tests and close schools and fire teachers based upon the test results.
But now it seems that $10 billion in teacher jobs bill money that President Accountability signed into law earlier this month that is supposed to be used to hire/rehire teachers won't be used for classroom expenses either - it may not even be used for education:
Crippled by budget deficits, states officials have been eying money in the $26 billion federal jobs bill that's intended for schools. State leaders in California and Oregon have expressed interest in taking their fraction of the federal money from the $10 billion Education Jobs Fund and stashing it away for rainy day funds or using it to retire state debt.
Although states are not allowed to use the federal money to reduce or retire debt obligations incurred by the state, a House Democratic Aide tells the Huffington Post, there are ways around rules, and some lawmakers are eager to skirt them.
In California, legislators, including state Sen. Darrell Steinberg, have proposed using the $1.2 billion in federal money designated for the schools to help offset the state's $19 billion deficit. Steinberg has since backed off those statements under public pressure.
"With the new school year already underway and students facing unprecedented larger class sizes due to $17 billion in cuts to public schools over the past two years, California's lawmakers need to take urgent action to ensure that federal funding passed by Congress is distributed to schools immediately and not used to fix the state's budget crisis," wrote Robin Swanson, spokeswoman for Education Coalition, a 2.5 million-member group that includes teachers, parents and other school officials.
In Oregon, Governor Ted Kulongoski told superintendents to be "judicious and prudent" with the $118 million expected from the federal-aid bill, as the state's deficit has grown an estimated $200 million to $500 million this year, according to The Oregonian. A superintendent quoted in the The Mail Tribune said the budget shortfall "effectively erases the federal funds."
"I will be working with legislative leadership on how we can resolve the deficit if the forecast materializes as expected," Kulongoski wrote. "If I am required to use my allotment authority to bring the state budget for this biennium (2009-11) back into balance, it will require another round of budget cuts, including cuts to the state's allocation for schools."
So between the $4.3 billion from Race to the Top and the $10 billion from the teacher jobs bill, President Accountability has increased education spending by $14.3 billion dollars at the federal level it is quite possible that NOT ONE THIN DIME of that money will be used to save teacher jobs, reduce class sizes or buy books.
And let's remember that Obama insisted that the teacher jobs money come from $12 billion in food stamp cuts to poor people.
So less food, larger classes, fewer teachers - but more tests and central office bureaucrats to collate, collect and analyze that data.
Truly we live in a third world country where the ruling classes steal every bit they can and leave just crumbs for the rest.
And sometimes they don't even leave crumbs.