All Posts Tagged With: "stimulus"
Universities have several extra months to complete 183 projects
The Harper government has extended the deadline for stimulus spending from March 31 2011 to Oct 31 2011. The extension applies to all of “Canada’s Economic Action Plan” projects, including the Knowledge Infrastructure Project. In total, there are 183 infrastructure projects taking place at 79 universities across the country. Paul Davidson, president of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada, applauded the move, stating that the program is “transforming campuses across the country, and improving the quality of the research and learning experience for Canadian students.” Liberal MP, John McCallum says the announcement came too late and that projects have incurred unnecessary costs in trying to meet the earlier deadline. “We can’t quarrel with the action, but we do quarrel with the timing,” he said.
Federal government kicks in $20 million to develop Maple Leaf Gardens
Ryerson’s Rams are finally getting a new arena just a few blocks from campus, as the federal government kicks in $20 million to revamp Maple Leaf Gardens. The historic arena was purchased by grocer Loblaw Companies Ltd. in 2004 but has remained largely unused for various operational reasons. The arena will reopen in 2011.
The Gardens will be home to a grocery store on the first floor, with an athletic facility occupying the second. The top floor will largely be dedicated to a hockey arena, the same size as the original, and with the capacity to host 5,000 fans. Volleyball and basketball will also be played on the third floor, the Globe and Mail reported.
Earlier this year, Ryerson students voted to pay an extra $126 per year in athletic fees for new facilities that will help fund Ryerson’s portion of the deal, also $20 million. The remaining third of the $60 million project will be raised through donations. A $5 million donation has already come from Loblaw’s Weston family.
Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, Transport and Infrastructure Minister John Baird, Ryerson president Sheldon Levy and Loblaws chairman Galen Weston all made the announcement jointly.
Maple Leaf Gardens opened in 1931, hosting its first Maple Leaf game on Nov. 12 that year, when the Maple Leafs lost 2-1 to the Chicago Blackhawks. Loblaws has said it will maintain the existing facades of the arena, as well as existing rooflines “with the majority of development taking place within the building’s interior.”
This story has been updated
With files from the Canadian Press
Expenditures would be largest increase in federal aid for education since WWII
The New York Times is reporting that the economic stimulus package that passed Wednesday in Congress will “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 will more than double the U.S. Department of Education’s current budget.
According to the Times, the “emergency expenditures” would touch nearly every aspect of education, including school renovations, special education, and grants for needy students, and amounts to the largest increase in federal aid since the end of the Second World War.
“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,” reads the story.
“Obama administration officials, teachers unions and associations representing school boards, colleges and other institutions in American education said the aid would bring crucial financial relief to the nation’s 15,000 school districts and to thousands of campuses otherwise threatened with severe cutbacks.”
“This is going to avert literally hundreds of thousands of teacher layoffs,” said Education Secretary Arne Duncan.
More from The New York Times:
…Republicans strongly criticized some of the proposals as wasteful spending and an ill-considered expansion of the federal government’s role, traditionally centered on aid to needy students, into new realms like local school construction.
And they were joined by some education experts from across the political spectrum in wondering how school districts could spend so many new billions so fast, whether such an outpouring of dollars would lead to higher student achievement, and what might happen in two years when the stimulus money ends….
….One provision, which was sought by the student lending industry and went unmentioned in early Congressional summaries of the stimulus package, would temporarily increase subsidies to banks in the guaranteed student loan program by tying them to a new index, partly because recent federal intervention in the credit markets has invalidated the previous index. A spokesman for Sallie Mae, one of the largest student lenders, said the change was needed to keep student loan markets fluid. Critics said it represented a potential new windfall for lenders.
“This just continues the well-established tradition of welfare for the student loan industry,” said Barmak Nassirian, an expert in student lending.
The Department of Education’s discretionary budget for the 2008 fiscal year was about $60 billion. The stimulus bill would raise that to about $135 billion this year, and to about $146 billion in 2010. Other federal agencies would administer about $20 billion in additional education-related spending.
“This really marks a new era in federal education spending,” said Edward Kealy, executive director of the Committee for Education Funding, a coalition of 90 education groups.
The bill would increase 2009 fiscal year spending on Title I, a program of specialized classroom efforts to help educate poor children, to $20 billion from about $14.5 billion, and raise spending on education for disabled children to $17 billion from $11 billion.
Those increases respond to longtime demands by teachers unions, school boards and others that Washington fully finance the mandates laid out for states and districts in the Bush-era No Child Left Behind law, and in the main federal law regulating special education.
“We’ve been arguing that the federal government hasn’t been living up to its commitments, but these increases go a substantial way toward meeting them,” said Joel Packer, a lobbyist for the National Education Association, the nation’s largest teachers union.