by Coy Holcombe.
There have been many changes in the way that our state and federal funding works for the 09-10 school year: some have been for the better, others for the worse. A summary of the good and bad is below:
Overall State Funding – This has increased slightly for our district. Some of the allotments have been increased. However, most of these allotments are all dependent on enrollment and attendance. Our enrollment is basically unchanged. We will see some additional funding, but it will be minimal.
Student Success Initiative – We have received this funding from the state for the past several years. It is based on the number of students in 3rd and 5th grade that are not successful on their TAKS tests. Because of our success rate at the 3rd and 5th grade, we have never received an overwhelming amount of funds in this program. However, historically we have received about $22,000 a year. This money goes directly to help pay for teacher salaries. In late August of this year, we received notification that this funding would no longer automatically flow to districts and that the amount of funding had been reduced. The state finally decided that all eligible districts would continue to receive these funds for the 09-10 school year; however, our allotment was reduced from $22,000 to about $13,000.
NCLB Federal Funds – These are the federal funds that our district normally receives. Our allotments are about the same this year as they were last year.
NCLB Title I ARRA Funds – These are additional funds provided by the federal stimulus bill. Overall. we are receiving a little over $130,000 in funding in this area. This amount may be used for the 09-10 and the 10-11 school year. These funds are being used to provide the resources to start our REACH Program, to bring the READ 180 program to the High School and Middle School, to provide salaries for the teachers in the READ 180 program, and to provide for the Springboard math program at the Middle School and High School. Districts had to apply for this money and have their application approved by TEA.
IDEA ARRA Funds – These are additional funds provided by the federal stimulus bill. These funds are designated to be spent in the area of special education. EISD is receiving a little over $300,000 in additional funding that may be used in the 09-10 school year and in the 10-11 school year. These funds are being used to help pay for the cost of the READ 180 program at the High School and Middle School, to help pay for salaries, to provide a web-based dyslexia program for the entire district, to provide for an inclusion teacher that works at all the campuses, and to provide for technology enhancements in the special education program. Some of this $300.000 will be spent in the 10-11 school year. Our special education co-op did the application for these funds.
Title XIV State Fiscal Stabilization Funds (SFSF) Funds – This is where it gets somewhat confusing. This is not all new or additional money. Instead the state chose to fund some of its funding through the SFSF funds. So, funds that would normally be provided by the state are now flowing through this federal fund. EISD will be receiving about $463,000 through the SFSF program. However, these are not necessarily new funds. While the district will receive a slight increase in funding due to these funds, as mentioned, the majority of these funds simply took the place of funds that were previously provided by the state. Since these are federal funds, districts now must "apply" for these funds through the federal grant process. In addition, since these are no longer state funds, a totally new fund code was created. This had the effect of districts having to move funds coded in local and state funds to this new fund code. Also, since we now had to apply for these funds, our application also had to be approved. Since the approval came after our budget was adopted, EISD, as many other districts have had to do, had to go back and revise their original budgets.
It is fortunate that we have had good people to help with these applications at TEA. They have literally walked us through an extremely tedious and lengthy application process.