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Superintendent Ramon C. Cortines on Federal Stimulus Funds for Schools
By Sentinel News Service
Published June 11, 2009

Echoing President Obama’s plan to use the federal stimulus money to save or create jobs, Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) Superintendent Ramon C. Cortines today said that the District’s decentralization of Federal Stimulus Title I funds have indeed allowed individual schools to save jobs.

LAUSD added $113.5 million in Federal Stimulus Title I funds to 2009-2010 school budgets across the board to allow schools to use data to determine and fund their priorities. Individual School Site Councils, comprised of teachers, parents, students, the principal and another school staff person, decided how their school’s money would be spent, in most cases.

 “This is what reform looks like,” Cortines said. “This action empowered teachers, principals, parents, and students to determine their schools’ priorities and what they will look like in 2009-2010.”

“It gives all schools a greater voice in how LAUSD money is spent,” Cortines said. “And, UTLA members have been at the table during these individual School Site Council discussions,” he added.

For the upcoming 2009-2010 school year, LAUSD allocated $113.5 million to school sites to fund their individual priorities with regard to class size, student achievement and increased graduation rates. Altogether, more than 3,400 teachers who were originally expecting to be laid off will continue to be employed because of the District’s Federal Stimulus Title I funds and early retirement.

California’s budget picture has continued to worsen with the failure of the May 19 election budget initiatives and the May budget revise, adding another $273 million to the 2009-2010 deficit.

“LAUSD will use every dollar it receives to save or create a job and support our schools,” Cortines said. “We need to all work together to make sure Sacramento understands the urgency of releasing stimulus money. We cannot wait until July for them to allocate the funds.”

Categories: Education

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