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Florida ed head hopeful on waiver; states to get guidance next week

Florida's education commissioner, Eric Smith, says he got no promises that Florida will get a waiver to spend the $2.7 billion in stimulus package cash it's hoping for -- but he's optimistic it will happen.

"I'm very encouraged," said Smith, in Washington to meet with Education Secretary Arne Duncan and school officials from across the nation. "All the conversations we've had here have been very productive."

Florida has applied for a waiver of a stimulus provision that requires states to maintain school funding at 2006 levels and Duncan said he's hoping to give some guidance to states seeking waivers next week -- as well as details on when federal dollars will be available to states.

"We want to move very, very quickly," he said.