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NEWS RELEASES 2003-04 :: JUNE 24, 2004


State education leaders praised the Senate's inclusion of $12 million to fund the State Board of Education's Disadvantaged Student Supplemental Funding program.

State Superintendent Mike Ward said, "We are pleased that the Senate has recognized this important need by approving $12 million to meet the needs of the state's most vulnerable learners." Ward added that he hopes that as the budget moves into conference that both the House and Senate will agree to meet the full $22 million expansion request.

This year's expansion budget request from the State Board of Education to the General Assembly included $22 million to fund a Disadvantaged Student Supplemental Funding category. The funds will initially be used in 16 school systems across the state to fund such strategies as aggressive teacher recruitment and retention, stronger professional development, and the use of high quality Personal Education Plans for poor, low-achieving students.

The Personal Education Plans are similar to the plans that are used to ensure that children with disabilities receive the educational services they need to achieve to their potential. These plans also mirror those that are already required for students throughout the state who do not meet the requirements of the Student Accountability Standards for grades 3, 5 and 8.

School districts receiving these supplemental funds are: Weldon City, Vance County, Hertford County, Hoke County, Hyde County, Warren County, Lexington City, Northampton County, Halifax County, Thomasville City, Washington County, Edgecombe County, Franklin County, Montgomery County, Robeson County and Elizabeth City/Pasquotank.

The expansion request of $22 million represents 10 percent of the total $220 million needed to fully fund this new allotment category originally proposed by the Governor's Education First Task Force. Although pleased with this initial step by the Senate to target funds to directly assist poor and low-performing students, Ward encouraged aggressive expansion of this fund each year in order to meet the educational needs of the state's most disadvantaged students.

For additional information, please contact DPI's Communications Division at 919.807.3450.

About the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction:
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction provides leadership to 115 local public school districts and 126 charter schools serving over 1.5 million students in kindergarten through high school graduation. The agency is responsible for all aspects of the state's public school system and works under the direction of the North Carolina State Board of Education.

For more information:
NCDPI Communication and Information Division, 919.807.3450.