The federal stimulus money coming to Colorado's K-12 public education is primarily coming through Title I (high poverty schools) and IDEA (special education). This money will be distributed through normal channels, with additional paperwork and requirements. For example, only Title I schools will be eligible to receive more money, but they'll need to use the money to enhance their work with low-income students. These schools cannot use the money to supplant existing programs. They'll have to think of something "new" to use the funds for. My question is, "Wouldn't they already have tried that? What's left to try?"
The rest of the federal stimulus money will come into the state through the Governor's office. Governor Ritter will be able to determine how the money should be distributed. The law says that first priority should be to replace funds that were already cut in K-12 education. No one knows if the Governor will decide cuts to this year's charter school capital construction money is a cut that should be restored.
It's certain that deciding who will get these federal stimulus dollars will be a battle. Watch for union-controlled interests to fight against education reformers, such as the charter school community!
Update: Check out the National Alliance for Public Schools' updates on stimulus money.