Funds prevent teacher cuts
By By Leada Gore, Hartselle Enquirer
Funds flowing from federal sources will most likely eliminate the need to layoff teachers in the Hartselle School System, according to Suptertendent Dr. Mike Reed.
The system will be receiving funds directly from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and through Gov. Bob Riley’s decision to allocate a large portion of the money the state has received to education.
Over the span of two years, Hartselle will receive some $1.67 million in additional funding. Morgan County’s system will receive some $5.2 million.
Riley’s plan must still be approved by the State Legislature as part of this year’s budget.
The allocations come with limitations as to how they can be spent, but Reed said Hartselle will use the money to avoid large-scale layoffs.
Reed said without the extra money, the system would have let 15 state-funded teachers go. Even with the new money, cutbacks would force three teacher layoffs, but Reed said he felt the system would be able to fund those positions locally.
Statewide, some 3,200 teachers were looking at being laid off due to funding cutbacks. That number will now be around 700, officials said.
While the stimulus funding averts the worse-case scenario, Reed said schools will still struggle this year.
Late last year, state officials said funding cutbacks in education, known commonly as proration, could approach 12.5 percent. State voters later OK’d borrowing money from the state’s Rainy Day Fund, reducing that amount to about 9 percent. The federal funds will lower that amount to some 7 percent.