Saturday, November 01, 2014
   
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Big Brother has financial stake in public school systems

The federal and state government give big bucks to public school districts.

During 2009-10, about $1.1 million in federal funds was funneled into District 20 through various sources to pay for programs to improve teacher quality and preschool offerings and help disadvantaged youth.

State funding—at $3.6 million—was in state aid, homestead exemption funds, property tax credits and other apportionments.

Stimulus funding, figured at about $900,000 over three years for the district, will be gone after 2011-12.

In return, districts like Gothenburg Public Schools must provide certain programs, report student progress and more.

When it comes to the school’s philosophy, officials want to retain as much local control as possible, according to superintendent Mike Teahon.

Teahon told a group of Stakeholders on April 6 that the district decides how government mandates fit into the school’s comprehensive plan.

“We plan what we do and how it fits into our philosophy of what’s best for kids,” Teahon said. “We are different in that way from a lot of schools.”

In the last of three meetings of Stakeholders for the year, school officials discussed “The Impact of Federal and State Regulations on Gothenburg Public Schools.”

Teahon said at least 250 policies, created by the school board, regulate what the district does.

On the state level, 93 rules and regulations govern public schools that include budgeting and finance, accreditation, teacher certification, special education and transportation.

Federal regulations include:

the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), that emphasizes equal access to education and establishes high standards and accountability.

Find the complete story in our print edition. Receive the entire issue of the Gothenburg Times on-line in PDF format each Wednesday for only $25 per year. Call 308-537-3636 to subscribe.

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