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Tantasqua gets $462,563 grant

Allocation to reduce costs

September 22, 2010
STURBRIDGE — The Tantasqua Regional School Committee voted to allocate funds from an Educational Jobs Grant and to send a resolution to the Massachusetts Association of School Committees expressing its opposition to adopting national standards of student performance during its meeting Tuesday, Sept. 21.

The meeting began with School Business Manager Deborah Boyd informing the panel the district had recently been awarded a federal Education Jobs Grant of $462,563. After the administration made up for shortfalls in previous allocations from state funds, the board had to decide what to do with $356,915.

Boyd recommended the board use $100,000 of the additional grant funds to decrease transportation assessments to the member communities. She explained that in June the board had kept the transportation costs as originally proposed, even though the cost of providing transportation was below projections, in order to meet other expenses not covered by state Chapter 70 funds. At the time, she said, the school district was facing a 4 percent, or $300,000, cut in state funds. Now, she said, the school district would be able to maintain educational services and reimburse the towns.

"We will still be able to do all the things we need to on the whole and give back to the communities," she said. "We are doing our best to give back to the communities that supported us when we faced the cuts."

Because of the decision, Brimfield will save $21,613 in transportation costs, Brookfield will save $16,881, Holland will save $12,158, Sturbridge will save $39,458 and Wales will save $9,890.

The board also decided to allocate $37,443 for a part-time Special Education teacher at the high school and $25,000 to hire a reading instructor to work two days a week. Superintendent Daniel G. Durgin explained the reading instructor was necessary to help with larger-than-expected class sizes for remedial students. The district will also spend $20,000 for English-Language Learner contracted services to provide assistance to students whose first language is not English.

For more on this story, please see tomorrow's Southbridge Evening News.

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