City to host school stimulus meeting

Published 11:59 pm Monday, March 30, 2009

Local school administrators will learn more about how the stimulus package could help the cash-strapped state education system, after they attend a regional superintendents’ meeting Friday in Andalusia.

Dr. Beverly McAnulty, superintendent of the Andalusia City Schools, said the meeting will be held at the city hall auditorium Friday at 10 a.m.

“We had a meeting of superintendents in Montgomery (last Monday),” she said. “But it was too early for us to get any numbers of how much we might be getting from the stimulus package. Now, they’re going to have different meetings at the various regions across the state, and we should get some numbers to look at.”

McAnulty said state Superintendent Joe Morton and members of his staff will attend the meeting, along with superintendents and other administrators from the school systems in Alabama’s District 2.

“The purpose of this meeting is to try and give us more detail and to answer any questions that we may have,” she said.

Friday, the state department of education released preliminary estimates for the amount of money local systems should see from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, commonly referred to as the stimulus package. Most of the money must be spent according to certain guidelines, including special education and funding Title I schools — schools where there is a high rate of poverty, and which include Andalusia Elementary School and Andalusia Middle School.

According to those preliminary figures, ACS is set to receive $1.3 million, Covington County Schools will get $2.3 million and Opp City Schools is slated to receive $940,000. About a third of that money comes from the state’s fiscal stabilization fund — stimulus money received by Alabama that Gov. Riley has set aside specifically for education.

“Everything is fluid at this point,” McAnulty said. “Hopefully we’ll know more about our situation (Thursday) and after the state passes its education budget for next year.”

According to the Alabama Department of Education Web site, District 2 is comprised of school systems in the following counties: Barbour, Chambers, Clay, Coffee, Covington, Dale, Geneva, Henry, Houston, Lee, Randolph, Russell and Tallapoosa.