Leon Co. Schools Get $11 Million in Federal Stimulus Aid

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At Tuesday night's meeting, Leon County school board members found out the district will be getting $11 million in federal stimulus money over the next two years. That may sound like a lot, but some say it won't stretch far.

"We are basically plugging a hole that we will have again next year. And potentially even a larger hole," says DeeDee Rasmussen, a Leon County school board member.

Lobbyists who presented at the meeting say the federal aid was necessary.

"What saved our bacon this year was the stimulus," says Scott Maddox, of Governance, Inc. "I think we'll be okay next session. We're not gonna face the draconian cuts that were first anticipated."

The specifics of how the cash will be spent will not be decided until later this summer. Officials also say the cost-cutting measures they already voted on, like closing Belle Vue Middle School and adjusting school start times, are final. Even with the additional funds.

The federal stimulus money has to be used for specific programs, such as job creation and energy-saving measures, so the board only has so many options on how to spend it.


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