During an economic crisis, there should be a balanced approach to spending money. Direct development is the easiest way to get consumer spending up as fast as possible. Investing in education won't see returns on those investments for years unless they are capital improvement projects that involve construction so as to get more local jobs in the economy.
If I have learned anything from the recent economic crisis and recession, it is that investing in education, during those times, is not a good idea. When investing in education, you simply end up flooding the workforce with over educated employees in 2 to 4 years time. Recession take longer to correct themselves, therefore leaving the educated with nothing to do, but menial jobs.