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Rome BOE actions opens door for funding

Rome City Schools

The Rome Board of Education approved several measures on Tuesday night to have funding for some of its programs released to the school system.

Board members approved a consolidated application for programs at each school for which the school system receives federal funding. The annual application has to be approved by the board and the state for the federal funding to be released to the school system for title programs.

The consolidated application is used to receive state approval on the improvement plans for each school as well as the system as a whole, according to a presentation from Director of School Improvement Leslie Dixon. The budgets for how the federal funds will be used are also submitted for approval.

The application lays out what the federal funding will be used for to address pieces of each school improvement plan. A needs assessment determines funding for Rome City Schools, which is a Title I district, based on the socioeconomic status of students at each of its schools. The needs of schools are also determined through data analysis and feedback from stakeholders.

Other title programs pertain to professional learning, immigrant students and English learners as well as special education. Title I is the area where the majority of the funding will be put into, according to Assistant Superintendent Dawn Williams.

Also, the board approved the Career, Technical and Agricultural Education local plan, a step toward having federal and state funds released to the school system. Federal funds allocated total $81,011, while state funds total $89,360, according to a presentation from Holly Amerman, the CEO of the college and career academy. Uses of the funds include career pathway improvement, professional development and extended-day and extended-year services by teachers.

An annual amount of $350,000 from the 21st Century Community Learning Grant, which was awarded to the system last year, was accepted by the board, fulfilling a requirement for the funds to be distributed to the ASPIRE after-school program. The five-year grant must have annual approval of the amount distributed for that school year.

Grant Coordinator Tonya Wood said the federal funds were used to establish after-school operations for economically-disadvantaged kids. The ASPIRE program has 180 kids, who received additional learning aid, mentoring and activities.