Alabama schools receive additional federal funding

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 4, 2002


to a report from The Associated Press, U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions has reported Alabama will receive $90 million more in federal money than last year

Much of the additional money is slated to be targeted toward programs which will help disadvantaged children in poorer school districts.

The senator said the $90 million is part of the $737.6 million the state will receive in federal education funding for the federal fiscal year, which began Monday.

Alabama receives about 21 percent of its total funding for primary and secondary education from the federal government.

The additional $90 million is a part of "No Child Left Behind"

education reform bill, with President Bush called into law in January.

The money will include an additional $18.3 million for Title 1 programs, which provide education assistance to disadvantaged students.

Sessions said $18.9 million of the new money is targeted for efforts in improving quality of teachers, which could include the recruitment and retaining of teachers, reducing class size and providing additional training to teachers or perhaps providing merit raises.

"(The flexibility of the additional $90 million) gives school districts a great challenge to use the money in the smartest way possible to enhance performance in the classroom," said Sessions.

The new money also will include $15.5 for the state's Reading First Initiative, the first installment from a six-year $102 million federal grant.

The reading program provides intensive training for teachers in certain schools.

State Revenue Department Secretary Lewis Easterly said that new revenue measures approved by the Legislature last year would probably be enough to prevent budget cuts during the current state fiscal year.

He added, however, that next year's education budget could begin the year in the hole since the state owes about $85 million in corporate income tax refunds.