SP District gets 21st Century grant for tutors 7/1/2014

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 1, 2014

SP District gets 21st Century grant for tutors

By Rupert Howell

South Panola school trustees got a bit of good news Monday while meeting to approve  their $37.5 million 2014-15 school budget—the district is the recipient of a 21st Century Grant that will allow extended day and summer school programs in grades one through eight.

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Superintendent Tim Wilder explained the five-year grant would amount to $499,973 the first two years, decreasing to $399,978, $299,984 and $199,989 in subsequent years with the district matching the decreases.

The Department of Education grants were established to provide academic enrichment opportunities during non-school hours for children, particularly students who attend high-poverty and low-performing schools.

Wilder explained that funds currently being used can offset cost of the match money and said, “I think this will be very beneficial to students. I am really excited about this grant.”

The second year South Panola Superintendent said the program would involve 24 weeks of four day, 2.5 hour after school sessions focusing on reading and common core standards as well as performing arts, exercise, organized recreation and character education during the school year.

The program will also involve four, four-day weeks with three hour classes with similar structure during summer recess 

Wilder added that he hopes the program can also be used to help students failing in one subject area to earn credit in that area during the summer session.

Wilder explained that student data will be used to evaluate the program and noted, “This grant required a huge application process, I am only giving a brief overview.”

Following approval of the budget and routine business, trustees went behind closed doors to discuss “potential litigation,” at the request of board attorney Ryan Revere.

After 30 minutes behind closed doors, Revere reported that no action was taken by the board but admitted that one issue discussed was a potential lawsuit against the state legislature to recover three years’ shortfall in MAEP funding following a proposal by former Governor Ronnie Musgrove, a principal in Musgrove Smith law firm.