Duncan approves Texas request for stimulus money

July 24, 2009 1:29:06 PM PDT
U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan has approved almost $2 billion in federal stimulus money that Texas requested for its public schools. The money approved Friday will go to school districts for used, at least in part, in a state-mandated $800 bonus for teachers and other professional employees.

Gov. Rick Perry applied for the money last month, and Texas lawmakers wrote a state budget allocating most of it to school districts with the proviso that it go to a teacher pay raise. Some school districts had been reluctant to budget the money amid questions over whether the allocation would be approved.

A spokesman from U.S. Rep. Chet Edward said the state will have to reapply for a second part of the request -- about $1.4 billion. That was slated to help replenish the Permanent School Fund, which has taken a hit since the recession started.

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