Schools get federal jobs money

Published 11:14 pm Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Suffolk Public Schools has received $3.4 million from a federal program to help retain jobs and hire new employees, and City Manager Selena Cuffee-Glenn intends to make sure the schools account for their use of the money.

The Federal Education Jobs Fund Legislation, passed in August, set aside a pot of $10 billion in additional funding to states for support of local schools. Virginia received $249.5 million. Suffolk will receive $3,433,298 once the funding recommendations are approved.

The money may be used only for compensations and benefits to retain existing employees, rehire former employees or hire new employees to provide K-12 education and related services.

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The school division has not decided exactly how the money will be used, Suffolk Public Schools spokeswoman Bethanne Bradshaw said Monday. The money must be fully spent by Sept. 30, 2012.

“We are in the process of deciding how the funds will be used,” Bradshaw said in an email. “No concrete decisions have been made.”

Cuffee-Glenn wrote to City Council members this month that she hopes information on the money’s use will be included in the sustainability plan she has requested from the schools and other city partner organizations.

In May, Cuffee-Glenn requested that the schools, the Western Tidewater Community Services Board, the Western Tidewater Health District and Virginia Cooperative Extension submit sustainability plans by Oct. 1, detailing how they will address funding shortfalls they covered this year with stimulus money and other “one-time” funding opportunities.

“In light of this announcement of an additional allocation of ‘one-time’ federal funding to support recurring operating salary expenses, I will inquire from the interim superintendent of the Suffolk Public Schools if he plans to incorporate the intended use for these funds into their sustainability plan,” Cuffee-Glenn wrote.