Accelify Blog

Schools Look for Creative Uses for Stimulus Funds

March 2, 2010

NEWARK — Licking County school districts say they are trying to use their federal stimulus money creatively with an eye toward future budgets, when the money might no longer be available.

"This isn’t permanent funding," Newark Superintendent Doug Ute said. "This is a two-year deal.&a mp;quot;

Licking County schools, including community schools, are expected to receive about $14 million in various federal grants through the stimulus funds. The grants include money for Title 1 services and special education, which must be used specifically in those areas.

Licking Valley Local Schools is using its Title 1 grants in part to help train its teachers on how to interpret its Measures of Academic Progress testing data. What’s important, Superintendent Dave Hile said, is to spend this short-term money on items that can have a long-term impact.

"You want to do things that are going to have a long-term value in the district," he said. "The MAP Assessments, at least for Licking Valley, are here to stay."

The other large pot of federal stimulus money comes in the way of Fiscal Stabilization grants. These grants are being used by the state to pay 6 percent of state foundation money paid every year to districts.

"We’re using most of that for special education and for technology," said Peg Betts, Granville Schools treasurer. "Those were areas that we could easily identify."

The stabilization money can be used for any general operating expense, with districts using it to cover administrator salaries, pay utilities, cover some teacher salaries and more.

"Anything we can offset to help us extend our cash flow longer," Licking Valley Treasurer Jo Lynn Torbert said.