Follow-up and Summary: GW Elementary School and Title One Funding

padalino_leavingThe GW Elementary School PTO had an insightful meeting last week with a visit from Kingston City School District Superintendent Dr. Paul Padalino who graciously returned to meet with parents and teachers, to provide important information on Title One funding, how it functions and flows into our school.

Special thanks to PTO Parent Lucia Lee Nucci for taking the following minutes that evening.

Our next PTO meeting is this Wednesday, March 5th from 6 – 7:30pm, where we will host Nicci Nashban Cagan, co-founder of “From the Ground Up” where parents created a local model in bringing food from their school garden into the cafeteria. 

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Dr. Padalino (summary of Title One)

Federal money is given to schools based on poverty. Funds should be used to offset/add to current program funding or supplement the current budget but not supplant. Original intent of Title One was to create smaller class size, and create after school and summer programs. Math and literacy support is a key area of focus. Key points:

  • Kington currently has 4 schools with Title One status: YR 2014 – GW, Chambers, JFK, and Miller. In YR 2015 – Bailey, Edson (expect to be added)
  • Funding in 2012 ($2.2 mil), in 2013 ($1.8 mil)
  • Allocation of funds based on attendance.
  • Largest portion of district wide funds will go to GW ($310,000) based on attendance.
  • How is the money being spent: Reading and Math teacher ($200,000), After School and Summer School ($100,000), Professional Development Initiatives ($10,000)
  • Title One gets audited yearly by the State to show effectiveness of use of money

 

Question/statement from PTO President (Rebecca Martin)

Q: “This sharing of news is very positive.” Is there funding allowance for communication initiatives, and will there be teacher/school input on the use of funds?

A: The reality is Title One is a more restrictive program. The FEDS continue to want more control. Their focus is to channel money toward specifics i.e. math and reading readiness.

 

Question from PTO parent

Q: Could money be use for Pre-K initiatives?

A : Money is not intended for that purpose but instead on K-12 grades. Cuomo has the Smart Schools Initiative Bill ($5.1 mil allocation) which is promising for Pre-K initiatives, along with capitol improvements and technology improvements for testing readiness.

 

Question/statement from PTO President

Q: Could money be raised by PTO? We would need $100,000 to restore our 3-yr old program.

A: The administration/district would support a parent-led fundraising campaign for the Pre-K program.

 

Question from PTO parent

Q The summer school funding comes out of our budget?

A: No, summer school program funding comes out of the district-wide budget. The funding used for the summer school program also helps to strengthen community based partnership (i.e. Family of Woodstock) and some money to assist homeless students.

 

Question from PTO President

Q: Are their funding through the district for resources/programs to provide education/skills for parents?

A: Educational programing is a requirement for Title Once. The district currently hosts 8 parent workshops for the calendar year. One of them being the Common Core discussion held at GW. The district is always looking for ideas for workshops (i.e. what do parents want to hear) and seeks input from parents/PTO.

 

Question from PTO President

Q: Is there a clearing house for grants available. Grants specifically for Title One schools, Montessori, or Pre-K programs?

A: Ulster Boces has a point person that offers grant writing assistance. I (Dr. Padalino) will give her a call about this request). Grants have dried up in the last 10 years. The field is very competitive. For example just 30 mins south of us is Newburgh district which has a 80% free and reduced participation vs. our 40% free and reduced participation. We are in a very unique situation where we encompass a urban, suburban and rural setting. This is very unique. Funding allocation is determined by the % of students in the school who are impoverished.

 

Statement by Dr. Padalino

S: Title One application/needs is due in August; we usually know each school’s allocation by the first week of September.

 

Question from PTO parent  & follow-up comment 

Q: Is Dr. Padalino aware of a private foundation for school districts?

A: No, but we could create one.

 

Statement from PTO President

S: Our PTO has a few great grant writers; we will continue to use this stregnth to pursue opportunities. Thank you to Dr. Padalino for opening this discussion

 

Statement from Dr. Padalino

S: You’re welcome; I will come back anytime to discuss Title One and any other issue.