Next year’s state aid total a bit deceiving for Brady

A look at the bottom line of state aid for Brady Public Schools for the 2010-11 school year put an initial smile on the faces of board members Monday night. The total is up almost $140,000 over aid paid this school year.

But superintendent Bill Porter was quick to caution the board about getting too excited.

“You really can’t count the federal stimulus money as state aid,” Porter said. “After next year, that’s likely to be gone.”

Federal funds total approximately $59,000, up from $35,000 paid last year. Porter said that portion of the district’s money will be spent on one-time purchases since it is not guaranteed to continue.

The district also is receiving $42,000 more next year for a transportation allowance. Porter said that comes from adding mileage to daily routes.

The third area of increase for the Brady district is in instructional time allowance.

Porter said Brady students spend an average of 7.8 hours in school each day, not counting recess or lunch time. He said because elementary students are not in class as many days as high school students, that average will likely drop for next year.

“There’s a good chance we’ll take a hit in that area if we don’t make up some days,” he said.

The district has taken two snow days, a day off for a funeral at the school and another day for girls state basketball.

“State aid increases with the number of hours students are learning,” Porter said.

For now, he said, the board must continue to be frugal and keep the future in mind.

“Things are so uncertain,” he said. “It is possible that these numbers could change again before we get into school next fall.”

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