Midstate schools can expect federal stimulus funds soon

Midstate school systems can expect to see the first chunk of federal stimulus money under the American Recovery and Investment Act within the next 40 days, according to state and U.S. Department of Education officials.

The second half of funding would come within the next six months.

“Again, we are still awaiting the guidance on this funding, but as we anticipated it is starting to come out this week,” Georgia Department of Education spokesman Dana Tofig said Wednesday.

Systems will get federal stimulus money for their Title I, low-income schools, and to help with programs that serve students with disabilities. School districts, many cash-strapped and making cuts, may have no wiggle room to spend the money on any other school budgetary items.

According to a U.S. Department of Education preliminary Title I data allotment sheet for Georgia school systems, Bibb may get $12.7 million; Houston $3.7 million; Peach $1 million; Laurens $892,887; Jones, $439,723 and Monroe $368,140. The estimate does not include money districts are also set to receive for special needs students.

Tofig said those two funds would likely come through the state, which would then disburse it to school districts.In total, Georgia is estimated to receive $351 million for Title I schools, $95.5 million for school improvements, $22 million for school technology and $335 million for special needs students.

In addition, the governor’s office is estimated to receive $1.54 billion to use with some flexibility.