Public hearing on Saranac Lake Central School District’s Title I funds

SARANAC LAKE — The Saranac Lake Central School District detailed how federal funds awarded through the Title I Grant process are disbursed before the school board meeting on Wednesday night.

“They’re federal monies that flow through the New York state education department and our determination is based upon how our students population demographics,” Superintendent Diane Fox said.

The total funding through this program given to the school district was $642,496, split into four categories. The Title I grant program provides financial assistance to educational agencies and schools populated by the children of low-income families to ensure that students achieve state academic standards.

Title 1-A, the largest element of funding, totaled $527,100. This money was used to pay the salaries of two elementary reading and math teachers, a middle school reading teacher, an elementary counselor, and paid for the services of a title grant coordinator and an instructor for middle school tutoring. In addition, this money was used to pay a quarter of the salary of a new social worker, to provide an after-school study lab for students and pay employee benefits.

“It looks different from one district to another depending on needs and funding levels,” said Saranac Lake High School Librarian and grant coordinator Seth Putnam. “It has made for more people to be able to work with our students and has also made some things possible that may not have necessarily been possible in a regular budget cycle, so to speak.”

Title II-A, at $84,302, paid the salary of a kindergarten teacher, employee benefits, and also disbursed funds to St. Bernard’s School and Northern Lights School. Title IV Part B, called the rural education achievement program, at $31,094, was used to pay the remaining three-fourths of the new social worker’s salary. Title V Part B, at $22,303, was used for stipends allowing district staff and faculty to attend after hours and summer professional development workshops, as well as supplies to support these activities.

“Then we get Title V funds because federally we are considered a rural district and so we get a little extra at the very end,” Fox said.