By JENNIFER LaFLEUR/ProPublica
Hillcrest Rural Schools in north-central Kansas is set to get nearly $7,000 in federal stimulus money to help its disadvantaged students. Only one glitch: The district doesn’t exist anymore. It closed in 2006 when it was merged into another nearby district.
New York state put hundreds of dollars in federal stimulus money into food stamp accounts, causing a literal run on the bank last month. Families of about 800,000 low-income children qualified for the one-time payments — $200 per child for back-to-school supplies and clothes. Critics said the state bungled it by attaching no strings to how the money could be spent. But equally problematic, 23 states haven’t applied for these stimulus dollars yet, many because they can’t afford to appropriate the 20 percent matching funds that are required.
Tiny Wilkinson County (pop. 10,026) has won more federal stimulus money, per capita, than any county in Georgia, according to an intriguing new interactive tracking tool put together by the non-profit investigative Web site ProPublica. Wilkinson will benefit from a $56.4 million award to the Georgia DOT to build the 7.2-mile North Gordon Bypass from the Twiggs County line. That’s $5,661 for each man, woman and child in the county, or 31 times the national average.
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