School-aid change could mean a boost of more than $1 million

March 16, 2007|by DAVE McMILLION

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - Jefferson County Schools is expected to receive more than $1 million from a recently passed school funding bill in the state Legislature, but officials said Thursday they are unclear if the money can be used for teacher salaries.

The money will come through the so-called school-aid formula that is used to calculate how much a county school system gets from the state to run its school's every year.

After that amount of state money is determined, the amount of money generated from a local general levy is subtracted from the state funding.

Lawmakers working in the state legislative session that ended last Saturday agreed to reduce the local share that is subtracted from the state aid formula to 94 percent next year and to 90 percent the following year.


The bill is expected to ultimately generate more than $1 million a year for local schools, Jefferson County Commissioner Dale Manuel said Thursday.

Officials said previously that $1.5 million is expected to be generated for Berkeley County Schools.

It is unclear if the money for Jefferson County could be used for teacher salaries, Board of Education President Pete Dougherty said. One of the issues being examined is whether the extra funding is expected to be consistent for the school system, Dougherty said.

In the meantime, the money could be used for incentives, such as paying for educational requirements for teachers who need to become certified to teach, Dougherty said.

On Wednesday, hundreds of teachers in Berkeley and Jefferson counties walked out of their classrooms in protest of low pay. Some teachers say low teacher pay in the Eastern Panhandle has forced school officials to hire people who are not certified to be teachers.

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