Work begins on spending college incentive fund

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BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) – Higher education leaders have started working on how to divvy up nearly $40 million set aside by Gov. Bobby Jindal and lawmakers to boost efforts to match students to available jobs.

The money was put into the newly-created Workforce and Innovation for a Stronger Economy Fund, or WISE Fund, to steer funding to engineering, technology, research and other high-demand programs, tied to projected workforce demand across Louisiana.

But as college system leaders learned Tuesday, some money lawmakers poured into the fund has strings attached – in addition to the requirements set out in the new law.

More than $12 million is federal hurricane recovery dollars that only can be spent in certain parishes, that need federal approval for spending and that must be tracked to show they were spent properly.

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