Local

Stimulus money on the way

Area school districts are set to receive $37.2 million this month in the first round of federal stimulus funding, according to the state Department of Education.

The money targets programs serving low-income and special education students. A second round of cash from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 should be delivered in the fall.

Of the funding:

- Stanislaus County education agencies such as school districts and the county office of education will receive $12 million for low-income students, plus $21.2 million for special education students.

- $2 million goes to socioeconomically disadvantaged students in Manteca, Escalon and Ripon school districts in San Joaquin County.

- Tuolumne County will get about $541,000 for low-income students and $1.4 million for special education.

The calculations give local school districts, county offices of education and charter schools more detailed information about how much federal money they will receive for the remainder of this school year and into the next school year.

"Local educational agencies need to know exactly how much federal recovery funding they will receive so they can reconcile their budgets, start paying for programs, and get on with the business of helping our students succeed academically," said Jack O'Connell, state superintendent of instruction, in a news release.

"I have directed all divisions within the California Department of Education to post all ARRA information online to expedite this process and to meet our commitment to transparency."

The stimulus funding is in addition to money normally given to county offices of education, school districts and other education agencies for special education and disadvantaged student aid programs.

The U.S. Department of Education last month awarded California $564 million in stimulus funds for Title I to serve socioeconomically disadvantaged students and $634 million in Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Part B, to serve students with disabilities. These recovery funds constitute a one-time increase for socioeconomically disadvantaged and special education programs.

To view the list of recipients, go to www.cde.ca.gov/fg/aa/ar.

Bee staff writer Michelle Hatfield can be reached at mhatfield@modbee.com or 578-2339.

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