Franklin schools to get stimulus funds

March 11, 2009|By JENNIFER FITCH

WAYNESBORO, Pa. -- Franklin County, Pa., schools are poised to receive $10.2 million of federal stimulus money, according to figures released Wednesday by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, signed by President Obama on Feb. 17, included $2.6 billion for Pennsylvania schools.

The state divided the money into categories, providing money for programs affecting economically disadvantaged students, education of special needs students and technology improvements. It also increased the dollar amount of basic education subsidies for general costs.

In a letter to superintendents, Pennsylvania Education Secretary Gerald L. Zahorchak stated "bureaucracy will not stand in the way of these resources being put to use in the economy and in our classrooms."

He urged superintendents to work with their school boards to accelerate reforms that provide the greatest boost to student achievement.

Some Waynesboro Area School Board members said this week they have reservations about accepting stimulus money, starting new programs and being stuck with the recurring annual costs a few years from now.


However, Waynesboro Superintendent James Robertson said Wednesday there appear to be fewer restrictions than first anticipated. He hopes to learn more about the allocations during a March 17 presentation for administrators.

"I'm not exactly sure how we'll use this money, but the $2 million would be very helpful in this economy," he said, mentioning anticipated revenue shortfalls from the real estate transfer tax and other taxes.

Fairview and Mowery elementary schools are Title 1 schools, meaning they should be positioned to use Waynesboro's additional $306,500 for Title 1 in most any way. Other schools can use Title 1 money for programs that target students from low-income households.

A Chambersburg Area School District representative did not return a call for comment.

Local allocations of federal stimulus money:

Franklin County

  • Chambersburg Area School District: $4.8 million

  • Fannett-Metal School District: $580,500

  • Greencastle-Antrim School District: $1.2 million

  • Tuscarora School District: $1.6 million

  • Waynesboro Area School District: $2.1 million

    Fulton County

  • Central Fulton School District: $522,800

  • Forbes Road School District: $292,000

  • Southern Fulton School District: $675,000

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