Racine Unified could receive $7.5 million for new construction under the stimulus program passed by the House last week. (See the statewide breakdown here.)
The construction money is part of $19.4 million in total additional aid for the district over the next two years. It's the second highest total amount of aid among all districts in the state, but is a paltry sum compared to the Milwaukee Public School System's $204 million, including $88.6 million for new construction.
The Journal-Sentinel reports MPS would get 28 percent of the stimulus dollars set aside for education in Wisconsin, despite having no plans for new construction and 15 vacant school buildings.
In additional to construction funds, Racine Unified would receive $11.9 million in 2009 and 2010 for special education.
By comparison, Kenosha Unified is scheduled to receive $14.8 million over two years under the stimuls plan, including $5.4 million for new construction.
The J-S story raises the question about what "construction" means in the stimulus plan. It doesn't necessarily mean new buildings, according to a federal official.
Rachel Racusen, spokeswoman for the Democratic majority on the House Education and Labor Committee, said "school modernization" might be a better label than "construction." That could include renovation of existing facilities, she said. Improving energy efficiency, dealing with environmental hazards such as asbestos and repairing roofs might all be included.