This was bound to happen. A school district in Connecticut is turning down Federal funds from the Title I program (the DOE’s largest block grant program) so that they don’t have to be yanked around by the strings that come with the cash. The system is only one of three nationwide to take the radical path of turning down the Title I money, all of them relatively small, but others, including the state of Utah are thinking about it. I’d bet that many more districts and States wish they could.
The federal government only provides 7% of the total amount spent on K12 education in this country – not even covering the cost of the regulations that accompany the money – but some districts have a larger dependence on Uncle Sam than others. The very large district I work for receives a large chunk of change from Washington and, although it’s a small percentage of the total budget, they aren’t likely to give it up. Not that they wouldn’t love to tell W and friends to get lost.