Louisiana was allowed to spend millions of dollars worth of its federal stimulus money on higher education. The stimulus money came at a price, however. According to an article in the Times-Picayune:
Last year’s federal economic stimulus package included money Louisiana can use this year and next to support higher education, but it was given with the condition that the state not drop below its 2006 spending level for colleges.
But Louisiana’s new budget cuts include significant reductions (up to $100 million) in funding for higher education. These cuts will put the state below its 2006 level of support.
But despite this—and despite Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal’s opposition to the economic stimulus money in principle (because it’s, you know, irresponsible)—the state has no plans to return the stimulus money. Instead it will apply for a waiver from the Department of Education, allowing Louisiana to both keep the stimulus money and reduce state funding for its public universities.
One wonders what creative explanation the state will use to obtain the waiver.