Gist concerned about teacher funding

Providence, R.I. – Rhode Island Education Commissioner Deborah Gist says she is concerned about a plan to use $33 million in federal teacher jobs money to plug the state budget deficit.

Gist says Congress intended that money to help school districts.

"This was federal aid that the president and the secretary of education sent to our state for education, and so I'm strongly advocating that the funds be used for that purpose."

A spokesperson from the Governor's office says the teacher jobs fund will still be helping schools. Without it, the state would have to make roughly $38 million in budget cuts due to a deficit in the state Medicaid program.