School officials protecting Title I from sequestration

2013-03-19T00:00:00Z School officials protecting Title I from sequestrationJoyce Russell joyce.russell@nwi.com, (219) 762-1397, ext. 2222 nwitimes.com

SOUTH HAVEN | While the federal sequestration took affect early this month, Portage Township Schools officials still don't fully know what it will mean to programming.

Title I programs, supported by federal dollars, could be a target of between 5 percent and 8 percent cuts, Debra Dudek, director of Title I for Portage Township Schools told the School Board at its meeting Monday night at South Haven Elementary School.

"This has been on our minds for over a year. We've been planning for this to happen," she said.

Dudek told the board they've taken actions to protect the program for the 2013-14 school year.

The district is allowed to carry over 15 percent of its funds each year, which it has been doing. Every three years, they are allowed an excess carry over, permitting them to hold back more than 15 percent. Dudek said they will do that this year to assure the program can go on.

A 15 percent carry-over amounts to $201,000, Dudek said.

"This program will be held harmless next year," she said.

The Title I program has a budget of about $1.3 million annually. Some 95 to 97 percent of that money goes to staffing. The program employs 65 people.

In other business, the board approved a policy change to allow a rotation for board members attending out-of-state conferences and workshops. In the rotation, three will be able to attend one year, two the next. Chicago-area events will be excluded from the policy.

The board also recognized several groups of students for their accomplishments. Among the groups recognized were the Portage High School gymnastics team which won the state title over the weekend; three PHS students who were finalists in the Indiana Student Journalism Association journalist of the year awards; members of both the PHS dive and wrestling teams who recently competed in state competition and members of the PHS speech team who will compete in state competition this coming weekend.

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