Morenci schools receives federal grants 4.08.09

Written by David Green.

Morenci and the county’s other 11 public school districts are in line to share in $5.4 million in “emergency education funding” through the federal Recovery Act, but it’s not as simple as taking the money and putting it to good use, warns Superintendent of Schools Kyle Griffith.

He intends to evaluate the offer carefully to avoid creating services that will suddenly lack funding when the Recovery Act expires.

All the county funds are for Title I low-income programs and IDEA special education needs.

Morenci is offered $93,512 in Title I-A funding for programs in low-income communities, and $192,000 in IDEA funding for special education and related services to students with disabilities.

Both grants represent increases to existing funding in those two programs.

“The Recovery Act funds come with very specific details of how they are to be used,” Griffith said.

As an example, he pointed out that a bus is needed for transporting special needs children, but money for a bus purchase would have to come out of the general fund.

“The Recovery Act will help in the designated areas of Title I and IDEA, yet it does not give us the ability to invest in other areas that are needed for operation or general staffing,” Griffith said.

“Although the funds will be helpful, we must be careful in making the necessary financial adjustments so that in a year or two when the Recovery Act is done, we are not stuck with an increased deficit position.”

The funding won’t help the district cope with the deficit budget situation related to declining enrollment, Griffith said. The board of education must continue with the staff cuts announced last month.

On the other hand, the funding should allow the district to improve student achievement for at-risk and special needs students.

  • Front.tug
    MORENCI pep rallies generally end with a tug of war. The senior class entry, shown above, did not advance to the finals. Griffin Grieder, Alaina Webster, Kyle Long and Jazmin Smith are shown at the front of the rope, giving it their best effort.
  • Accident
    FAYETTE resident Patricia Stambaugh, 64, was declared dead on the scene of a single-vehicle accident Friday morning south of Morenci. Rescue units were called around 9 a.m., but as of Tuesday, law enforcement officers had not yet determined the time of the accident. According to Ohio State Highway Patrol, Stambaugh was driving west on U.S. 20 when her Chevrolet Malibu traveled off the north side of the road and down a steep embankment, coming to rest in Bean Creek (Tiffin River).
  • Athletic Fields
    SPORTS COMPLEX—Fayette’s outdoor athletic facilities will include three ball fields for summer recreation leagues at the southwest corner of the school. The baseball and softball fields, along with the running track, will be constructed on the east side of the school. Outdoor athletic fields were not part of the new school project from 2007, but voters approved a $1.4 million levy for a school addition and the sports fields last August. Both projects are scheduled to be complete by July 20.
  • Front.teacher Leading
    PRESCHOOL MUSIC—Fayette band director Jeffrey Dunford spends the last half hour of the day leading the full-day preschool class in musical activities. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.F.band
    TROMBONISTS Jake Myers (left) and Max Baker perform Friday at the annual Senior Citizens Luncheon at Fayette High School. The National Honor Society and the FFA chapter teamed up to serve a meal to area seniors and to provide musical entertainment. Both the school band and choir performed. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Station.2
    STRANGE STUFF—Morenci Elementary School students learn that blue isn’t really blue when seen through the right color of lens. Volunteer April Pike presents the lesson to students at one of the many stations brought to the school by the COSI science center. The theme of this year’s visit was the solar system.
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.

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