Bush Administration Claims States are Sitting on Billions of Dollars for Schools

January 9, 2004 - Posted at 7:53 a.m. CDT

WASHINGTON, DC - The Bush Administration says that the states are sitting on billions of federal dollars meant for schools.

The White House and Education Department officials charged that the 50 states, the District of Columbia and eight territories have $5.75 billion in unused federal money from 2000 to 2002.  That amounts to eight percent of the $71.6 billion set aside for six programs during that time, including help for disabled students and high-poverty schools.

Education groups say Congress is often late in approving the money and there hasn't been time to work it into state school budgets.  They also claim rules on spending federal money are often confusing and restrictive.  Part of the sum cited by the administration goes for adult education and programs that don't directly involve schools.

A report shows Arkansas has $11.6 million in unused federal funds alloted for education programs.

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)