School district to propose sequester adjustments

  • Posted: Monday, March 25, 2013 12:01 a.m.
    UPDATED: Monday, March 25, 2013 12:05 a.m.

The Aiken County School District’s federal Title I funding was reduced by more than 10 percent for the current year and could expect to be cut another 5 to 15 percent more in 2013-14 because of sequestration.

At a School Board meeting Tuesday, district administrators have recommended the elimination the federal funding allocations to Wagener-Salley High School and Ridge Spring-Monetta High School for $110,000 and $60,000, respectively. That would replace some funding that will be lost by elementary and middle schools.

Wagener-Salley and RS-M are the only two high schools that receive such funding, and the district could use state money to make up much of that appropriation for the new school term, said King Laurence, the associate superintendent for instruction.

Schools that qualify for Title I funding can use it in ways that provide supplemental assistance for disadvantaged students, said Laurence. That can include tutoring, lower class sizes and additional instructional coaches or Reading Recovery teachers for struggling first-graders.

The School Board set up the criteria years ago on how schools are eligible for Title I money. Elementary schools that have 35 percent or greater of students qualifying for free or reduced lunch fees receive the funding. The percentage threshold for middle schools is 45 percent and for high schools is 60 percent.

The allocations are based on the actually poverty levels. North Aiken Elementary School receives about $300,000, while Hammond Hill Elementary School in North Augusta gets about $80,000. A 5 to 15 percent cut for 2013-14 could cost the district from $300,000 to $800,000.

The School Board meeting will be held at the school district office, 1000 Brookhaven Drive, Tuesday at 7 p.m.

In other business –

• Brooks Smith, the Aiken County Career and Technology Center director, will show a segment of a Dan Rather program that aired on the AXS channel. The national program featured an apprenticeship program between the manufacturing firm Tognum and the Career Center.

• Board members will get updates on Aiken High science classroom construction, a new network operating system, a communications committee and the latest information on S.C. General Assembly activity.

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