Superintendent Kevin Mitchell said the money is being provided by the U.S. Department of Education under the Education Jobs Fund. He told the board that the State Department of Education applied for the funds after Gov. Dave Freudenthal …
School district agrees to receive money for salaries, benefitsPowell schools will accept more than $300,000 in federal money to help pay salaries and benefits this year.The District No. 1 school board voted to accept the money following discussion Tuesday night.
Superintendent Kevin Mitchell said the money is being provided by the U.S. Department of Education under the Education Jobs Fund. He told the board that the State Department of Education applied for the funds after Gov. Dave Freudenthal declined.
The fund will provide up to $17.5 million for Wyoming districts, according to State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jim McBride. District No. 1's share is tentatively estimated at $313,195, and Mitchell said the total might increase if other districts turn down the money.
According to McBride, the money must by used exclusively for salaries and benefits for salaried personnel, and the district must submit a plan designating how they will be used.
Mitchell said he has discussed options with administrators and said possibilities may include using the money to cover increased contributions required by the state into the Wyoming Retirement Fund or increasing contributions to health insurance. Another possibility is enhancing the district's early retirement incentive.
Mitchell said the money is a one-time benefit, so there has been little discussion of hiring additional staff.
“We briefly discussed that, but moved on,” Mitchell said.
Mitchell said the district was required to accept the money by Friday, Oct. 15, but could submit a plan for using it later.
Rob McCray asked if there were any strings attached to the money, and Mitchell said there weren't.
“We looked, but we can't find any strings attached at all,” Mitchell said.