Richland County, SC (WLTX) Richland School District One missed a deadline to turn in paperwork to get reimbursed Title One Funding and some parents are concerned, it will affect their child's education.
Formula For Fairness defines Title One as "The federal program that provides funding to local school districts to improve the academic achievement of disadvantaged students.
It is part of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act first passed in 1965." The district missed the federal deadline to be reimbursed for $3.1million in funds already spent in the fiscal year 2015/2016. That's from July first to June 30.
Superintendent Dr. Craig Witherspoon says "We have to find a fund source for that $3 million. We get that. We're working through that." That money came out of the general fund and would have been reimbursed to the district had the deadline not been missed.
Witherspoon tells News 19, the district was able to carry over some funds not previously used. Those funds have been used to buy technology for K-2 students, books and literacy materials for K-12 and he tells News 19, the district is looking into college Preparatory curriculum for secondary schools all to help spend the carry over funds. To claim the carry-over funds for these items, the spending must take place before September 30. The claims have to be submitted to the federal government by October 15, 2016.
At Tuesday night's Richland One school board meeting, Dr. Witherspoon addressed the issue saying, "Have there been some concerns with some systems and processes? Yes. Those have been long standing. Are we addressing those? Yes. Both from a systems and process standpoint and from a personnel stand point, which I cannot talk about."
Under Title One, each district that receives the funding has the fiscal year to spend the designated amount of money. If they do not, they may carry over a certain percentage, according to Dr. Witherspoon. He told the crowd, "The most important thing right now is to spend the dollars that they had carry over." He also said the money in question was not a "reimbursement," they were carry over dollars.
Dr. Witherspoon says that no services have been denied students and that no funding has been taken away from any other programs because of missing the deadline.
Dr. Witherspoon also promised the crowd at the meeting, "This will never happen again. We will never find ourselves in this situation again."
To see Dr. Witherspoons full statement just to go the Richland County District One Facebook Page.