“The staff and parents of this rural school are outraged about losing their Title I funding, which means they will no longer have a reading and math specialist on staff to help students,” Judy Kinder said in a post to Coal Valley News’ Facebook site.
The concerns were raised at a Boone County Schools Effectiveness Meeting.
Nora Dotson with Boone County Schools explained that the system is able to fund 6 of 10 of the elementary schools in the district.
“This past year, Sherman Elementary, Whitesville Elementary, Madison Elementary and Wharton Elementary schools did not have a Title 1 program,” she said.
Dotson said strict federal guidelines look at the number of students under the federal poverty level.
“Next year, Ashford Rumble Elementary rose above Wharton, so it will be Wharton with the Title 1 program,” she said.
Dotson said the schools that receive this funding can change from year to year.
“It is based on funding and where the most need is,” she said. “We follow strict guidelines and regulations.”
The current Title 1 teacher at Ashford Rumble, Charles Aliff, will transfer to Brookview Elementary for the 2013/2014 school year.
“This has nothing to do with how we fund the schools,” Dotson said. “Since his position will be eliminated at Ashford Rumble next year, he took an open position at Brookview.”
According to the latest release from U.S. Senator Joe Manchin, all Title 1 funding will be cut by the federal government starting Friday, March 1, due to the government sequestration.
Manchin’s report stated that $5.8 million Title 1 grants funding would be reduced, which would cut 79 teaching jobs and impact 7,705 low-income families and students who rely on these grants to help them meet educational performance standards.
“Which means more schools could lose funding too,” Manchin said.
According to Manchin’s report other cuts in education in West Virginia would include:
• Head Start: $2.98 million in cuts would reduce educational access for 415 three and four-year-old students, and would potentially cut over 180 educational jobs.
• Rural Education Funding: $132,000 in cuts would eliminate essential technology services for 6,700 students and teachers would see professional development drastically cut.
• Special Education Grants: $3.88 million in cuts would affect 1,985 special needs students and eliminate 47 special education teachers’ jobs.
“It is discouraging and shameful that Congress cannot work in a bipartisan manner to come together and reach a long-term compromise to get our fiscal house in order and stop these reckless spending cuts from going into effect,” Manchin said. “The $85 billion in across-the-board cuts this year were intended to be so dangerous and flawed that it would force Congress to strike a grand bargain that applies fairness to our tax code and protect our vital safety net programs for generations to come and begins to pay down our debt.
“As a nation, we can’t spend our way to prosperity. We need to confront our fiscal situation and define our priorities based on our values. West Virginians and all Americans are demanding that we get our financial house in order, but we cannot continue to kick the can down the road with more empty promises of fiscal responsibility. We need a big fix, like the Bowles-Simpson plan that saves $4 trillion over ten years. We need to start responsibly managing our nation’s spending problems while reducing our debt, not simply taking an ax to essential programs.
“West Virginians live under a budget every day, and it is time that our government follows suit and starts doing the same. That is the only way we can get out of this fiscal mess once and for all.”