The stimulus package's $54 billion for schools is the largest ever investment in the Department of Education. You better believe that states, many of them facing budget crises, are eager to get their hands on the dough. But there's a catch. Before any state can access the dollars, they must promise to "maintain service." That means avoiding draconian cuts to education by maintaining 2005-2006 levels of funding. The underlying message to governors and legislatures was simple: Find a way to balance your budget that does not directly disadvantage children.