WASHINGTON — The economic stimulus plan
that Congress has scheduled for a vote on Wednesday would shower the
nation’s school districts, child care centers and university campuses
with $150 billion in new federal spending, a vast two-year investment
that would more than double the Department of Education’s current
The proposed emergency expenditures on nearly every realm of education,
including school renovation, special education, Head Start and grants
to needy college students, would amount to the largest increase in
federal aid since Washington began to spend significantly on education
after World War II.
Critics and supporters alike said that by its
sheer scope, the measure could profoundly change the federal
government’s role in education, which has traditionally been the
responsibility of state and local government.