There is no question that the just-enacted Stimulus Bill will benefit kids—what we don’t know for sure is how much will be available and how it will be spent—but let’s hope decision-makers see a big(ger) and long(er) term picture.
Among many, I have three concerns to mention here. One, that this huge influx of unexpected cash will be used as a band-aid to mask serious/worsening design flaws in our funding calculations for education and social services that are critical to developing our next generation. Two, that whatever programs are created/bolstered with these funds are not sustained once the windfall is over. And three, that a bunch of new entities pop up (or existing ones find it suddenly lucrative to operate outside of their mission/areas of competency) and the impact of this new investment on those that need it most is compromised accordingly.
Said another way, assuming this government-backed ‘bail out’ is the solution would be naïve and dangerous, because it could actually make matters worse if we put off the task of truly re-engineering our systems for sustainability and optimal performance. So, while a lot of thought is (rightfully) going to how the stimulus funds are to be spent, we must operate on a parallel track to ‘fix’ things or no amount of money will be enough the next time around.