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Home News-Telegram News SSISD: District receives $9.03 million in grants, allotments

SSISD: District receives $9.03 million in grants, allotments

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Each year, Sulphur Springs Independent School District receives grants and other allotments which help provide basic and supplemental services. This year, the district has been allocated to receive $9.03 million in competitive and non-competitive grants and allotments to provide those services.

“In most cases, an application is required to indicate to the Texas Education Agency how the district will use the funds for identified students with specific needs and agency approval is required,” SSISD Assistant Superintendent of Elementary Education Betty Lawson explained. “We had to either apply for supplemental funds or allotments. Allotments are based on the number of kids enrolled in a particular area.”

The $2,786,433 State Compensatory Funds allotment is used to support programs and services to improve and enhance the regular education program for at-risk students.

The $119,911 gifted and talented allotment is used not only to identify students starting at kindergarten for Academically Challenging Experiences, then serving elementary students with extended learning time, ACE classes at middle school and fine arts at high school.

The $162,279 bilingual/ESL allotment funds bilingual programs staffed by highly qualified teachers for pre-kindergarten through fourth grades and provides instruction for limited English proficient (LEP) students in all content areas; certified ESL teachers provide language instruction and assistance for LEP students in grades kindergarten through 12.

Another $45,992 in non-competitive Title III Limited English Proficiency special programs funds are utilized to assist bilingual/ESL students as well. They are utilized to assist with services to recent immigrants with limited proficiency in the English language. Services include teacher training, salaries for instructional aides and tutors to provide additional support for ESL students.

“We receive these funds often, but not always,” Lawson said of the identified special programs funds.

Another $6,833 in non-competitive migrant education funds are utilized to provide assistance for identified migrant students through computers and supplemental software to help them obtain grade level skills. Fifty percent of funds are utilized to help with the recruiting and compliance cooperative provided by Region 8 Education Service Center. The district currently serves four migrant students, Lawson said.

The largest amount, $2,760,422 goes toward special education programs. Awarded as IDEA-B Formula, IDEA-B Preschool Grants and Allotment, the funds go toward content mastery, transportation, class for severe and profoundly disabled, contract psychologist, Preschool Program for Children with Disabilities, resource classes, behavior modification, physical and occupational therapy, speech therapists, educational diagnosticians, homebound teachers, assistive technology, counselors and additional supplies and materials to meet needs of identified students.

The $1,785,876 non-competitive Career and Technology Education Carl D. Perkins Grant and Allotment is utilized for vocational courses dedicated to preparing young people to manage the dual roles of family member and wage earner. Career and technical programs are designed to enable students to gain entry-level employment in a high-skill, high-wage job and/or to continue their education.

The $1,075,701 noncompetitive Title I money helps provide reading intervention teachers for kindergarten through fourth grade; instructional aides, parent involvement, staff development and supplemental materials to meet needs of students district wide.

Another $195,771 from Title II, Part A noncompetitive funds goes toward teacher and principal training and recruiting, specifically to recruit, hire and retain highly qualified personnel; professional development; improve quality of teacher and paraprofessional work force; and to provide academic specialists on campuses.

The final $73,925 in noncompetitive funding comes from a Title VI Rural and Low Income Schools grant. This funding provides supplemental staff development and online resources for teachers and tutors.

The remaining $17,187 in special programs funds comes from two competitive grants the district applied for and was selected to receive, nearly $178,000 less than in the 2012-13 school year. Incidentally, the $195,020 in competitive grants the district received in the 2012-13 school year was $612,388 less than in the 2011-2012 school year.

“These funds have dried up to some degree over the last few years. The S.O.S — Secure Our Schools — grant which we’ve received for a number of years ended. We are in the process of apply for others,” Lawson explained.

SSISD last year received $90,124 in S.O.S. funds, $270,339 less than the year before. The funding cycle for the S.O. S. grants concluded last school year.

The district was awarded a $15,888 Fuel Up to Play 60 grant to better enable “participating campuses to provide students with fun and relevant information and experience with nutritional foods and beneficial physical activity.”

The district also was awarded a $1,299 Department of Justice grant for bullet proof vests. This program is designed to help offset costs of the provision of bullet proof vests for Sulphur Springs ISD Police Department officers.

Lawson noted that the grants and funds were secured thanks to Grants Administrator Sherry Chester and the hard-working staff in the grants and migrant program office.




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