School District Gets Stimulus Funds For Low-Income, Special Ed Students

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday May 07, 2009 - 06:44:00 PM

The state Department of Education announced Monday, May 4, that the Berkeley Unified School District will receive more than $1.6 million for 2009-2010 for services related to disabled and poor children. Of this $1 million is regular Title I funding. with the balance coming from stimulus funding . 

Although state public education officials announced in January that school districts would be receiving stimulus funds, they had not allocated the amount to each district. 

The district will receive the first installment—$614,718—in May. 

The state has also allocated $5 million toward the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act fund to the North Region, Berkeley Unified’s Special Education Local Plan Area. 

Berkeley will have to share the money with the Albany, Piedmont and Emeryville school districts, which are also included in the North Region, so the exact amount each will receive is not known. 

The U.S. Department of Education last month awarded California $564 million in recovery funds for socioeconomically disavantaged students and $634 million in IDEA funds for disabled students, which is half of what the state is expected to receive. 

The other half is scheduled to be handed out in the fall. The federal government is says these are one-time funds and is asking districts to use the money for short-term investments rather than ambitious long-term goals which cannot be sustained once the recovery funds are exhausted.