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Board OK's Fed Funding Application

CUMBERLAND – The Cumberland County School Board voted to approve the Local Consolidated Application for $540,417.14 in federal funding for the 2012-2013 school year. The application is for federal assistance under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001.

In a conversation this past week with Chip Jones, the application coordinator and assistant superintendent of finance and operations, he noted that the funding for professional development “was one of the areas that was really cut with federal funding. I think over the past year it's been cut about $17,000…Which will impact the amount of funds we will have available for tuition reimbursement for staff members.”

Because the county was applying for Title I, Title II and Title VI funding, the consolidated application was used in lieu of three separate applications.

The majority of the funding, $437,010.78, is Title I, which is given to schools with a high level of low-income students. According to the Virginia Department of Education website, the funds can be used to assist programs that help children meet “challenging content and achievement standards.” The school uses these funds for the Pre-K Program at Cumberland Elementary School, the school's early intervention program for at-risk pre-schoolers.

Cumberland applied for $73,8181.62 in Title II funds, which are to be used to improve teacher quality. These funds will be used to pay the salary of one “Class Size Reduction” teacher. The remainder is combined with Title VI funds for professional development activities for staff.

Last year, the Title II funding was cut by over 18 percent or $16,873.17.

Cumberland applied for $29,587.74 in Title VI funds, which are given specifically to rural schools that serve concentrated areas of low-income families. These funds are combined with the remaining Title II funds to provide tuition reimbursement for staff continuing education courses and conferences, as well as to ensure substitutes for teachers attending such events during the day, if needed.

Last year, the Title VI funding was also cut by over 17 percent or $6,310.40.

Jones noted that usually the application for federal funding is submitted in early spring. However, this year the process was delayed while the federal government adjusted certain funding cycles.

The school receives the funding after submitting reimbursement requests through an online system run by the Virginia Department of Education. Jones noted that even though the school has 18 months to claim the money, because of the budget, “we try to do it pretty quickly.”