USD 259 Title 1 Schools To Receive Cuts

By: Alicia Myers Email
By: Alicia Myers Email

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Monday, April 18, 2011

Title 1 schools will be affected by phase three cuts to the USD 259 budget.

Starting next school year, 11 of the 55 schools that currently receive funding will be cut off. That cut amounts to $2.23 million.

Under federal Title 1 law, districts are required to serve all schools that have 75% or more of their student body qualify for free or reduced lunch status.

Now, the funding for most of those schools is in jeopardy, as the district continues to find ways to cut the budget by $30 million.

"Their whole intent, is to serve those schools with the greatest needs. Our numbers continue to increase across the district, and the number of students who qualify for free and reduced lunch," said John Allison, superintendent.

The remaining 44 schools serving as Title 1 schools, will receive reduced per-pupil funding from the district's Title 1 allocation.

"As the pie shrinks, and the demand increases, obviously, you have to cut that pie up, and the pieces get smaller. That's what's happening," said Connie Dietz, president, board of education.

The reduction in funding is due both to the loss of stimulus funds, as well as the anticipated cut to federal Title 1A dollars.

That brings the total cut in phase three to $6.3 million; dollars cut from students who count on school funding.

"That means taking the limited dollars and having to spread them across more buildings, so, it is difficult, because that's the support network for those students coming to us with some of the greatest challenges," said Allison.

Principals at each individual school are in charge of deciding what cuts will be made.

Phases 1 and 2 include $15 million in cuts. $9 million in cuts remain for phase 4.

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