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Title I funding reduced

By Bryan Richardson

USD 383’s Title I funds have been reduced $120,795 for the 2013-14 school year, but carryover funds will cover the cuts, according to federal sequestration information presented at the Board of Education meeting Wednesday.

Six elementary schools are deemed Title I schools and receive federal money for education programs because of the district’s above-average percentage of students who receive free or reduced lunches.

The funds have been reduced by 11 percent, but the board’s policy is to maintain a carryover of 15 percent into the next year, making the programs safe for next year.

Stan Ward, the district’s federal/state programs and grants coordinator, said the flexibility that the district maintains could protect the Title I budget for the next two years.

“That really does put us in a remarkably good position, but that doesn’t mean we’re out of the woods,” he said.

Title I funding has gone from $1,095,459 in 2012-13 to $974,146 in 2013-14, but Ward said as much as $250,000 could be removed in the future due to further sequestration cuts. He said the district should also be aware of when the Affordable Care Act goes into effect; that could add an additional $50,000 per year expense.

Ward said the current flexibility allows for administration, principals and Title I teachers to spend time developing a plan to maintain services with the cuts that are likely coming.

“It’s going to take a major rethink on how we do our Title I programs, but this gives us at least two years to work on that,” Ward said.

Six elementary schools — Bergman (45.7 percent), Bluemont (50.6 percent), Lee (59.4 percent), Northview (66.3 percent), Ogden (75.5 percent) and Theodore Roosevelt (38.9 percent) — are the district’s Title I schools.

Theodore Roosevelt falls below the district average of 39.1 percent, but it is being grandfathered in as a Title I school for the upcoming school year. The school will lose its Title I funding in 2014-15 if it remains below the average in 2013-14.

During the meeting, Curt Herrman was elected president and Leah Fliter was elected vice president. The board approved the bugdget request of $100,000 for the Parents as Teachers program, which is the same amount the district provided last year.

It was the first meeting for new members Pat Hudgins, Marcia Rozell and Aaron Estabrook.

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