Because students will be shuffled into different schools next year under a restructuring plan, administrators in District 91 said this month that they’ll have to juggle some federal money as well.
Title I dollars, given to schools to help low-income students, can no longer be sent to Grant-White Elementary because its student body will not be eligible, according to Superintendent Lou Cavallo. Technically, none of the public schools in Forest Park has achieved Title I ranking, which is determined based on the percentage of low-income students in a building. However, schools often receive Title I money because of their “targeted” status, according to the superintendent. This has been the case for Grant-White.
Combining Grant-White’s student body with kids from Garfield Elementary, as is the plan for the 2009-10 school year, changes things. Assistant Superintendent Ed Brophy said there would still be about 35 to 40 kids at Grant-White who are eligible for the funding, but that the money must be spent at other schools in the district with a greater percentage of low-income students. In order, those schools are Forest Park Middle School, Field-Stevenson Elementary, Garfield Elementary and Grant-White.
“Our school that was once the highest recipient is now the lowest,” Cavallo said. “That presents a problem.”
In order to ensure that Title I programs are available at Grant-White, the district would use $105,000 in federal stimulus money. That grant is expected to be available to the district for two years.