Stimulus Puts Teens to Work
* Time's "Summer Jobs Make a Comeback, Thanks to the Stimulus" offers a quick historical look at teen employment and the stimulus' potential impact. Youth job programs got a $1.2 billion boost from the stimulus. Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson tells Time that the stimulus will triple the number of jobs for low-income Cleveland youth this summer. The Mississippi Partnership Workforce Area is processing 10,000 applications for 1,600 jobs around the state.
* Education Secretary Arne Duncan has continued to sternly warn states that state fiscal stabilization funds - which are largely earmarked for schools - are meant to drive education reform, not simply to give states the freedom to bail on funding schools themselves. The latest target of Duncan's admonishment: Pennsylvania. Duncan sent a letter (PDF) to Gov. Ed Rendell expressing his displeasure with the state's plan to reduce its own share of education funding and replace it with stimulus funds. Duncan says states that do so will jeopardize their chances to get a piece of the $5 billion "Race to the Top" pot of education funding that will be dispensed in a competitive process in fall 2009 and spring 2010.
* The energy efficiency business is hot -- and lucrative -- right now, according to a new quarterly report by British bank HSBC. About $184 billion in stimulus funds from around the world have been invested in energy efficiency and energy management companies. Meanwhile, a recent report by the Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank in Washington, D.C., argues that clean energy investments would add 1.7 million jobs to the American economy.
* Yesterday, we pointed out a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel blog post about the Obama team's response (PDF) to Sen. Tom Coburn's, R-Okla., report (PDF) detailing 100 "questionable" stimulus projects. The Obama team had knocked Coburn's report for using a wildly inaccurate traffic figure for a Wisconsin bridge. Well, it turns out, Coburn's staff had removed that figure from their final, published version after double-checking with the Department of Transportation, John Hart, Coburn's director of communications, tells us. It looks like the Obama team had its hands on a copy of the draft report instead, and Hart thinks they cited it instead of the final version at least two other times. (If you find something else in the Obama report that's missing from the Coburn report, let us know.) Obama's team didn't respond for comment.
Officials have struggled to spend the nearly $800 billion stimulus package quickly and effectively.