School board designates Title I schools
More schools will divvy up $20 million in Title I funds, for now.
The Guilford County Board of Education this week voted 7-2 for lowering the threshold that qualifies elementary schools for Title I funding. Board Chairman Alan Duncan and board member Jeff Belton voted against the measure.
Federal Title I funding is made available to schools with high percentages of students who qualify for free or reduced-price lunches. While the federal government determines the maximum and minimum thresholds, local school boards can decide whether to alter them for the needs of the county.
More than half of students, 57 percent, in Guilford County qualify for free or reduced-price lunch. As of February, 42,329 of 73,600 students qualified.
Title I schools receive a dollar amount per pupil for every student who qualifies for free or reduced-price lunch. The funds are used for all students in the school, not just those who qualify for free or reduced-priced lunch.
This week’s vote came after the board discussed how it could change the division of the funds.
“Is it really best to spread these funds through half of our schools, or focus on the ones with the highest percentages?,” Duncan said. “There’s a huge difference between 99 percent and 56 percent, but the money they receive is the same.”
Local school boards set the thresholds for elementary, middle and high schools. This school year, the board set them at 58 percent, 66 percent and 75 percent, respectively. Because the elementary school threshold will be lowered from 58 percent to 56 percent, Jones Elementary will keep its Title I designation and Monticello-Brown Summit and Madison will gain the designation next school year. This school year, 60 schools were designated Title I. This change increases the number to 61.
The middle school and high school thresholds will remain the same at 66 percent and 75 percent respectively, which will strip Pruette SCALE in High Point its Title I designation.
Some schools have more than 97 percent of their student population who qualify, including Fairview, Parkview and Oak Hill elementaries. For 2012-13, the per pupil allocations was $581.19. The dollar amount per student hasn’t been determined yet for 2013-14.
Title I funds can be used to pay for additional positions at the school, extra materials, greater professional development for teachers and to help students pay for enrichment activities such as field trips.
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At a Glance
Title I was established by the United States Department of Education to distribute funding to schools and school districts with a high percentage of students from low-income families. Title I schools in High Point, and the percentage of students qualifying for free or reduced-price lunch include:
• Fairview — 98.62%
• Oak Hill — 98.14%
• Parkview — 97.72%
• Montlieu — 93.75%
• Kirkman Park — 92.68%
• Allen Jay — 90.7%
• Union Hill — 90.59%
• Northwood — 85.47%
• Oak View — 82.69%
• Johnson Street — 77.38%
• Jamestown — 71.34%
• Triangle Lake — 64.77%
• Welborn Academy — 88.34%
• Ferndale — 81.27%
• High Point Central — 81.06%
• Academy at Central — 81.36%
The Ronnie Smith Stadium?
The school board approved posting Ronnie Smith Stadium as the name for the baseball stadium at Ragsdale High School for a 30-day period of public comment. Smith taught and coached in Guilford County for 30 years.
Montlieu ‘Angel’ named employee of the month
The board recognized Marsha Colson Erwin, Communities in Schools coordinator at Montlieu Academy of Technology, as the March 2013 Employee of the Month. As Employee of the Month, Erwin received a $50 gift card from Sam’s Club. During the month of March, her photo will hang at the district’s central offices, at Montlieu Academy of Technology and at the Sam’s Club on Wendover Avenue.