Paige and Williams Pull a Rather, Lautenberg Holds Up Spellings, and Real Money (Washington DC)

Hard as it may be to believe, outgoing Secty Paige continued to defend his payments to disgraced pundit Armstrong Williams last week: “Paige defends hiring of commentator as necessary outreach” (Washington Post). Williams defending himself, ridiculously, on Crossfire? Not so hard to believe.

However, as a sign that Congress at least was taking this seriously (and/or making hay with an easy hit on GWB), it came out this week that Senator Frank Lautenburg (D-NJ) had put a “hold” on the nomination of Margaret Spellings in order to get the White House’s attention, which apparently worked: Senator lifts secret hold on nominee (Seattle Post Intelligencer), Education nominee agrees to check tactics (Cleveland Plain Dealer), Senate OKs new chiefs of Ag, Education (USA Today). Happily, this ensures that Education Week’s profile of Spellings is still relevant: Spellings' Resume Brings New Twist to Secretary Post.

Even more relevant, the final numbers are out on federal education spending, and not all of them are pretty – especially in light of continuing deficits at the state level: Final Education Appropriations for Fiscal 2005 (Education Week), Pork Out (Eduwonk), Billion-dollar Deficits Greet Several States (Stateline.org). Now, tell me again how anyone’s going to pay for meaningful high school reform or universal preschool?


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