Grants allow for professional development, stipend for teachers



Medora Community School Corp. teachers will benefit from grants that recently were approved.

During a meeting Monday night in the school library, the board of trustees learned more about how the grant funding will be allocated.

The total allocation for a Title I grant is $77,176.91, but Superintendent Roger Bane said that typically changes throughout the year.

The Title I budget for professional development is $2,500 for each grade level. Plus, there is a first and second grade aide, a third and fourth grade aide, a fifth grade aide who also helps with in-school suspension and a junior-senior high school aide.

Each grade level also receives $3,000 in supply money, there’s $2,000 each for the elementary and junior-senior high in technology money for software and other needs and $500 for homeless student services.

Principal Austin Skutnik is the data specialist for the corporation, and she is paid for that role out of the grant.

“She’s also the administrator, but we may be looking for someone else to do that,” Bane said. “She’s just got too much on her plate. She wrote the grant this year. Someone else may take it over if we can find someone.”

The Title II grant is $12,007.52. Bane said that allows for professional development provided by Equitable Education Solutions.

Bane also shared information about a teacher appreciation grant policy. Neola gives school corporations the option of amending the policy to add 20% of the grant to the salaries of teachers with five years or less of experience.

Bane, however, said he has an issue with that because it’s one-time money.

“There’s no guarantee we would get that money again. This is a legislative thing. They are wanting to show that they are going to allow schools to bump up beginning teacher pay,” Bane said.

“Even though there’s no money,” Trustee John Hughes said.

“Yeah,” Bane responded. “So what it says, a school may allocate up to 20% of the grant received by the school to provide a supplemental award to teachers with less than five years of service who are rated as effective or highly effective. The supplemental award is in addition to the award made from the part of the grant that is allocated to eligible teachers.”

Bane said he doesn’t want to do that, but it’s up to the trustees because it’s their board policy.

“I like it how it is. We take the grant amount, which isn’t a lot of money, and we give 25% more to the highly effective than we do the effective,” he said.

“I think we keep on trucking like we have been,” board President Joe Campbell said.

Trustees approved to amend the policy so it doesn’t include the 20% option.

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