Federal Officials Penalize 2 States for College-Spending Cuts

At least two states have been penalized by the federal Education Department for cutting their higher-education spending drastically in 2009, and two more are trying to forestall similar penalties.

The Education Department determined last year that Alabama and Michigan did not comply with a federal rule requiring states to provide consistent spending on higher education, and that therefore the two states do not qualify for federal grants meant to help low-income college