Can Obama Save O'Malley's Baltimore, Too?

Stimulus package could save O'Malley amid school funding cuts

Gov. Martin O'Malley has seen widely varying popularity levels during his term, and with terrifying budget cuts on the way, they're not likely to soar anytime soon.

Unless, of course, Barack Obama saves him, with The Stimulus Package!

O'Malley has come under criticism for making cuts in state aid to the Baltimore and Prince George's county school systems of $23 million and $35 million in the next budget, respectively. Critics see the cuts -- determined by funding formulas -- as disproportionately harsher in poorer areas, where recent but tenuous performance gains could be wiped out.

This is basically the sole issue Maryland governors deal with every year, and they usually find a way to resolve it that makes no one happy -- ever.

But this year could be different, because Barack Obama is giving money to literally every human being on Earth. And Martin O'Malley wants it all!

O'Malley said Tuesday that the Baltimore school system "could receive at least $98 million in funding under a federal stimulus package," and then that would be that! He also "urged residents to contact congressional representatives to call for passage of the stimulus package," because this thing -- don't tell anyone! -- is kind of a steal.

But there is one problem with that $98 million: it's flagged "for disadvantaged children and special education." Baltimore schools chief Andrés Alonso has pointed this out, that having these "strings attached" might cause flexibility problems down the road.

O'Malley seems to be of the "Eh, first let's just get the money and deal with the other stuff later" attitude, which makes sense, because who expects this $98 million in sweet, sweet Obama Cash to actually go entirely to special ed programs? It's a Great Depression! Just spend!

Jim Newell is constantly begging Barack Obama for money, at least when he isn't writing for Wonkette or IvyGate.

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