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Stories Added - March 2009
Copyright 2008 - Polk County Publishing Company
$3.5 million in stimulus funds headed to Polk County schools
Polk County Enterprise - March 2009
AUSTIN – The check is almost in the mail for Polk County school districts, according to government procurement analyst Mary Scott Nabers. “The stimulus bill wheels are turning in D.C. and in Texas. Offi cials throughout the state are just waiting for guidelines about how to access the funding and how it can be spent,” said Nabers, president and CEO of Strategic Partnerships, Inc., an Austinbased research and procurement consulting fi rm that is tracking the funding fl ows into Texas. Approximately $4 billion for education and public schools will be headed to Texas, an estimated $3,513,000 of that amount going to schools in Polk County, according to her company’s breakdown of the stimulus package signed by President Barack Obama Feb. 17. Some of the money is allocated by formula and other funds will come down to local school districts in the form of grants. School districts receiving money to be directed to special programs, are expected to spend a large amount for technology, equipment, energy enhancement and construction. An earlier projection prepared by Strategic Partnerships included funding for construction projects — as much as $1.4 million for Livingston I.S.D. — which were deleted in the compromise bill that was sent to the White House. That projection estimated a total of $6.7 million for schools throughout the county. Funds allocated for Title I-A programs are designated to be used for economically disadvantaged students. Other funds are designated for Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) programs. Schools in which poor children make up at least 40 percent of enrollment are eligible to use Title I funds for schoolwide programs that serve all children in the school, according to a U.S. Department of Education website. “School Matters”, a website operated by Standard & Poor’s that compiles school evaluation criteria, lists Livingston I.S.D. as having 56 percent of its students classified as economically disadvantaged. It also lists Big Sandy with 49.8 percent; Corrigan- Camden 68.4 percent, Goodrich 81 percent; Leggett 80.6 percent and Onalaska 67.6 percent. Big Sandy Independent School District is slated to receive $93,000 in Title I-A funds, $145,000 in IDEA, Part B for a total of $239,000. Corrigan-Camden I.S.D. should receive $376,000 in Title I-A funds and $262,000 in IDEA, Part B, totaling $637,000. Another $154,000 is allocated to Goodrich I.S.D. with $76,000 in Title I-A funds and $78,000 for IDEA. Strategic Partnerships says Leggett I.S.D. should get $80,000 for Title I-A and $58,000 for IDEA for a total of $137,000. An $897,000 is allotted for Title I-A funding at Livingston I.S.D. with another $930,000 for IDEA, for a total of $1,827,000. Onalaska I.S.D. should get $326,000 for Title I-A and $193,000 for IDEA, totaling $519,000 in stimulus funding. As with other funding sectors in the bill, such as transportation infrastructure, technology, homeland security and energy programs, the funds will result in more work opportunities for Texans and hundreds of contracting opportunities for vendors and service providers. “Those interested in selling to government – whether to school districts, cities, counties or state agencies – should get involved immediately,” said Nabers. Throughout the country, government entities are watching to see how the funding will flow and who will have oversight. Once the money is released, a federal Web site, www.recovery. gov will allow citizens to see how it is spent. For a statewide look at all school districts in Texas, visit www. spartnerships.com.