Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Funding Doubled for School Discipline Unruly Students Will Go to Alternative Schools

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Funding Doubled for School Discipline Unruly Students Will Go to Alternative Schools

Article excerpt

ATLANTA -- Gov. Roy Barnes pledged to improve student discipline by kicking troublemakers out of classrooms and into alternative schools, and he nearly doubled state funding to do so.

But the new budget that took effect Thursday may cut funding for more than 60 Georgia districts while boosting money for programs in cities like Augusta and Savannah because of the way the state will allocate the money.

The funding will allow some districts to start or greatly expand their programs for unruly students. In other systems, the new funding formula will mean downsizing.

"What it's going to do in some of the smaller systems is they are going to have to fold their programs," predicted state School Superintendent Linda Schrenko.

Burke County Superintendent Doug Day said he had hoped his system would at least get the same amount from the state it received in the past.

Instead, Department of Education projections show the east Georgia system near Augusta will get $95,000 for alternative schools in the upcoming school year, a decrease of nearly $17,000.

"We were hoping for more money rather than less," he said.

Barnes championed alternative schools during last year's gubernatorial campaign, arguing that they were key to returning discipline to classrooms.

The state Board of Education requested nearly $38 million for the program, which received less than $13 million in funding during the most recent fiscal year.

Part of the reason for the request was that many systems had waiting lists for placing misbehaving students in alternative schools.

State funding for those facilities had in the past been based on systems applying for grants, not on enrollment. That led to wide disparities.

For instance, rural Hancock County received the equivalent of $15,750 per pupil, while Richmond County got $1,320 per student.

That was changed this year, when Barnes and the General Assembly approved about $24 million for alternative schools.

However, because of the change in how the money is doled out, some midsize and small systems that started programs years ago will wind up with less money. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.