Disabled kids to benefit from federal funds

May 18, 2006|by KAREN HANNA

More than $4 million in federal funding will help the school system meet the needs of about 2,700 students with disabilities, Michael Markoe, Washington County Public Schools director of student services/special education, said Wednesday.

According to information provided by spokeswoman Carol Mowen, the Board of Education voted unanimously Tuesday to accept $4,059,252 to help pay for staffing, equipment, staff development and contractual services.

The funding is provided by the federal government and distributed through states, Markoe said Wednesday.

The school system next year plans to dedicate more than 167 full-time paraprofessional positions to working with students with disabilities, Markoe said. This year, 2,823 students who qualify for special education services attend Washington County Public Schools, Markoe said.

According to Markoe, federal funding will allow the system to continue serving students with disabilities. About 90 percent of the money used for special education services goes toward staffing, he said.


Board of Education votes to change bid policy

The cost of products and services Washington County Public Schools can buy without bids just went up, according to a change in state law.

According to information provided by spokeswoman Carol Mowen, the Board of Education on Tuesday accepted on first reading updates to its policies to stipulate that bids are required for purchases and projects totaling $25,000 or more. The board will need a second vote on the policies to make them official. The old rules set the bar at $15,000.

Additional local changes expand the considerations the school system can use in awarding bids. Among the considerations are the quantities involved, the time required and the involvement of minority contractors, according to a copy of the board's policy.

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