Bamberg District One to receive stimulus funds

Along with the regular Title One Funds the district will be receiving this year, Bamberg School District One will also be receiving funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) better known as stimulus funds, that will come to the district through Title One as a “separate pot of money” District Federal Projects Coordinator Phyllis Overstreet informed board members at their April 27 meeting in the Bamberg- Ehrhardt Middle School Media Center.

The district’s stimulus allocation is $365,550, according to Overstreet and the district technically has two years to spend the money that must be spent by September 2011. The district plans to use the funds predominately for classroom size reduction, and it is anticipated that the funds will save at least three positions.

“The goals of the funds are to save positions or create new positions,” Overstreet said, adding that “some of the funds can be used for instructional supplies, possibly after school programs, assessment materials, and things like that.”

Overstreet stated that the district’s regular Title One formula allocation for 2010- next fiscal year is $543,255 that does represent about a $51,000 reduction over last year’s allocation. The reasons given for the reduction are that a number of students have withdrawn and enrolled in a couple of the new state wide charter schools. And, the Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) has opted to come on board this year to receive stimulus package funds.

There are required “set asides” to receiving the funds. Richard Carroll Primary School will remain in school improvement for the 2009-10 school year because the state has changed from the PACT test to the PASS test and all schools are required to stay in place during the process.

The district must set aside 20 percent for supplemental service, and because the district is in district improvement 10 percent must be set aside for staff development.

The board approved authorizing district superintendent Phyllis Schwarting to be the district representative on all federal applications.

Also during the meeting:

Superintendent Schwarting stated that she had received a letter from Bobby Bowers of the State Budget and Control Board indicating how much the district can increase it millage rate due to increases in the Consumer Price Index of 3.8 in the calendar year 07-08, and an increase in the number of students enrolled in the district in that same time period of 1.4 percent. “If you add those two components together our millage which is capped at 5.3 percent, used in conjunction with the operating millage which is set at 234.5, gives the district the opportunity to raise millage about 12.4 mills when we get a little further into the budget process, this is a significant piece of information for us,” Schwarting said.

A mill in Bamberg School District One is approximately $16,000 a 12.4 mill increase would raise approximately $192,000.

Superintendent Schwarting presented Richard Carroll Elementary School Principal Skipper Smith and Bamberg- Ehrhardt High School Principal Randy Maxwell with certificates and flags on being recognized by the State Board of Education and the State Department of Education as Silver and Gold Recipients respectively in the state’s Palmetto Gold and Silver Awards Program for 2008-2009. Each school will receive approximately $4,000 for the honor.

The superintendent also recognized B-E legendary baseball coach David Horton for reaching the milestone of 800 wins in his coaching career.