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Low-income schools to receive fed $
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The Newton County Board of Education is expected to approve the 2012-13 Title I budget at its meeting Tuesday, which will allow the system to receive federal funds for 22 of the schools in the county.

Title I is federal funds the NCSS uses at schools with at least a 40 percent enrollment of students from low-income families. The funds are designed to upgrade educational programs that focus on achievement for all students, especially those who are lowest-achieving. The funds can be used to support the following areas at qualified schools: indirect costs, school allocations, Flexible Learning programs, parent involvement, homeless students and professional learning.

In the NCSS, there are 13 elementary schools, five middle schools, three high schools and one charter school that are eligible to receive Title I monies.

According to the recommendation presented to the board by Superintendent Gary Mathews, "The Title I Education Program Specialist at Georgia's Department of Education reviews each application and budget to ensure that expenditures are appropriate for the program area before approving the budget. Once the budget is approved, the Title I Education Program Specialist tracks how well the LEA (local educational agenciy) is requesting funds for expenditures to ensure that the LEA is likely to meet the expenditure requirements for Title I funds."

The consolidated application presented to the board, which has been approved by the state, shows an allocation of $4,460,819, with an additional allocation of $59,748. The total amount budgeted is $4,520,567.

Each school receives different amounts due to the needs there. The highest amount allotted at an individual school is $149,197 at Clements Middle School, which goes to cover the salaries for three supplemental teachers to support core curriculum instruction: one ELA/reading and two math for grades six through eight; followed by $143,518 at South Salem Elementary School to cover the salaries for four class size-reduction teachers to support core curriculum. Many of the schools receive the same amount and use it for instructional materials.

There are also funds set aside that have not been assigned to any specific school and can be used as the NCSS sees fit at whichever school needs the programs the funds are for (such as instruction, parental involvement, etc.) the most throughout the year.

"The federally funded Title I budget is utilized to support educational services to all Title I schools that are over and beyond what the system is providing to all students," said Mathews in his recommendation.