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Schools expect $8M in stimulus funding

Posted: May 7, 2009 9:35 p.m.
Updated: May 8, 2009 4:55 a.m.
More than $8 million in funding for low-income students and special education programs allocated through the federal stimulus package is expected to flow into local school districts at the end of the month, district officials said Thursday.

The one-time Title 1 and special-education funds, allocated over a two-year period, could be used for staff training, technology developments and the expansion of data systems, according to State Superintendent Jack O’Connell.

However, school districts are able to use 50 percent of special-education funding to offset dollars taken from the general fund to run the district programs.

The U.S. Department of Education awarded California $564 million in stimulus funds in April for Title I and $634 million in special-education programs, known as Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), O’Connell said.

That amount constitutes half of the funds expected to go to California, O’Connell said. The remaining half is expected to be awarded in the fall, he said.

Newhall and Sulphur Springs school districts are set to receive the largest amount of Title I funds.

Title I funding pumps dollars into Title I-designated school sites with socioeconomically-disadvantaged students.

Newhall School District is expected to receive $351,173 over a two-year period in Title I funds, Superintendent Marc Winger said.

Funding for each Title I school will range from $26,000 to $56,000, Winger said.

Newhall School District has four Title I elementary schools: McGrath, Newhall, Peachland and Wiley Canyon, Winger said.

Winger didn’t have a specific dollar figure that he expected the district to receive for special education.

Sulphur Springs School District expects $264,206 in Title I funding over a two-year period, said Vicky Myers, assistant superintendent of business services.

That funding benefits the district’s four Title I elementary schools: Leona Cox, Valley View, Mint Canyon and Canyon Springs, she said.

Special education funding for Sulphur Springs most likely will total $1,121,431, she said.

Saugus Union School District is expected to receive about $279,000 for its two Title I elementary schools, Rio Vista and Cedarcreek, Superintendent Judy Fish said.

Another $1.6 million is expected for the special-education program, she said.

At Castaic Union School District, about $69,000 in Title I funding should come in, Superintendent James Gibson said.

The plan is to fund some personnel positions with the two-year money, he said. The funding will most likely go to Live Oak Elementary School, he said.

For the special education program, Castaic Union expects to see $390,000, Gibson said.

The William S. Hart Union High School District should receive $4 million in special-education funding, district spokeswoman Pat Willett said.

The Hart district does not receive Title I funding, Willett said. The district opted out of that program.

Special-education funding comes to the Santa Clarita Valley Special Education Local Plan Area (SELPA) before money is allocated to local school districts.

Additional federal funding, in the form of so-called stabilization money, is expected to reach the districts later this year.


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