Amherst Schools lose $94K in federal funds

By Jason Hawk -

An important source of federal funding has dropped by $94,000 at the Amherst Schools, meaning three fewer tutors will be on hand to help kids this fall.

Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act is meant to help students academically and is based on a district’s percentage of low-income families.

Amherst will get $350,000 this year, down from $445,000 in 2016-2017 and $469,000 in 2015-2016.

Three previous tutors paid with Title I cash have found full-time teaching jobs, according to Mike Molnar, the district’s director of educational services. He said they won’t be replaced, which means the cuts can be absorbed without layoffs.

Each tutor is usually paired with groups of four or five children through the year, providing extra classroom help.

The decline mirrors drops in Amherst enrollment, so Molnar said the funding loss won’t be catastrophic.

At the same time, federal funding under Title IIA will actually rise a little bit this school year. Amherst will get $84,000 as compared to $68,000 last fall.

That funding is used for ongoing training for teachers and classroom size reduction.

Angela Dotson, treasurer of the nearby Oberlin City Schools, recently told us the Ohio Department of Education is giving local schools about three percent less from the federal pot this year. The reduction comes due to the Every Student Succeeds Act, signed by President Barrack Obama December 2015.

Oberlin, where we also have a weekly newspaper, expects a $65,000 drop in school funding.

Jason Hawk can be reached at 440-988-2801 or @EditorHawk on Twitter.

By Jason Hawk