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The Hill

Board approves receipt of federal funds


October 03, 2013
The Grosse Pointe Public School System Board of Education approved receipt of more than $2 million in federal program funding, the amount of which will be allocated for both general education and special education programs.

"We receive federal program funding for both students who are in general education who would be deemed at-risk in regards to academic progress and also in special education," superintendent Tom Harwood said during the Sept. 23 regular meeting.

In all, the district received $2,564,636 toward the following programs: Title I, Part A; Title II, Part A — Teacher and Principal Training and Recruiting; Title III, Part A — Language Acquisition; IDEA Flowthrough; and Federal Preschool.

•Allocation amount for Title I, Part A, funds for this school year is $443,472, which the district distributes among three schools — Poupard ($203,130), Defer ($99,720) and Mason ($68,510) elementaries.

Schools with the highest percentages of children from low-income families receive this funding for staffing to support those students in reading programs and support systems and to improve their academic achievement on state standards.

•Title II, Part A, funding for this school year equaled $149,465. "These are funds that we can utilize for the purpose of professional development activities," Harwood said. "We utilize that to help support the high-quality teachers in the classrooms and their programs and any professional development activities that we believe would support our academic assistance and our academic goals."

•For several years, from 2004 to 2009, the district didn't meet requirements for Title III, Part A, funding, meaning, the district's population of immigrant or limited English proficient students was minimal.

Recently, with the growth of the LEP population, the district has received upwards of $13, 603, as it did in 2011-2012.

This year, program funding is $5,329, for use in improving language acquisition and enhancing instructional opportunities for LEP students.

•Total allocation for the IDEA Flow-through grant is $1,860,935, representing the largest amount of program funding the district receives.

Flow-through funding, which starts at the federal level and flows through the state, then Wayne RESA, then the individual district, covers the cost for the district's transition staff for students ages 18 to 26, for the school psychologist, speech services, reading specialist and teachers serving sixth- and seventh-grade at-risk students.

"It represents typically about 8 percent of our full total special education budget," Harwood said.

Fifteen percent of the funds also must include early intervention services, a result of the district being named disproportionate in regard to suspending or expelling students of a particular race or ethnic group with individual education plans. And doing so at a disproportionate rate when compared to the district's overall student population.

•The district also received $105,435 through the Federal Preschool grant. This money is used to cover costs of the school psychologist assigned to support incoming students from birth to 6, as well as $2,500 for technology software for assessments and assistive programs.

Overall funding totals are consistent with previous years, though some years saw major increases ($8,579,764 in 2009-2010) due to additional funding from other programs that are now discontinued.

Board Briefs

•Additionally, the board approved updates or revisions to policies 7530.01 and .02, relating to board-owned and staff use of personal communication devices; 8321, criminal justice information security; 8800, religious or patriotic ceremonies and observances; 7540.07 and .08, personal Internet account privacy for students and staff; and 4162, controlled substance and alcohol policy for commercial motor vehicle drivers.

•It also approved the 2013 tax rates, which showed a .2-percent decrease in the total amount levied and a .0008 mill increase in debt millage.

•A new superintendent evaluation process and goals for the 2013-2014 school year were approved as well.

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