The Wall Street Journal analyzes some of the earmarks in the stimulus bill, and finds that specific provisions for spending are going to be wasted — except that they payoff special interests:
“The Milwaukee Public School system, for example, would receive $88.6 million over two years for new construction projects under the House version of the stimulus — even though the district currently has 15 vacant school buildings and declining enrollment. … The Milwaukee situation is instructive for another reason. The city is home to the country’s oldest and largest school voucher program, which provides public funds for children to attend private schools. … Yet language in the stimulus bill expressly prohibits any dollars from going toward financial assistance to students attending private schools. In other words, Milwaukee can use the money to build schools it doesn’t need, but not to expand education programs that are producing better outcomes for disadvantaged kids. … That $142 billion is little more than a huge stimulus to the teachers unions and lousy school districts to keep doing exactly what they’ve been doing.”
See A Spending Education: Milwaukee gets money for unneeded schools.