CHICAGO — As Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland and U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner yesterday touted the state's planned use of $260 million of federal qualified school construction bonds to support state schools, Strickland faces growing discontent — and a trio of court challenges — over the state's current two-year budget.

Strickland and Geithner yesterday held a press conference at an elementary school in the town of Berea outside Cleveland to tout the federal stimulus program's efforts to support the state's sagging economy. Berea is one of 60 school districts expected to use taxable QSCBs as created under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Under the plan, either the district or the state can issue the bonds and benefit from the 0% interest bonds as investors take a tax credit on the bonds instead of receiving interest payments.

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