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R-3 has eye on stimulus money

by Alan McArthur
Landmark reporter

Federal economic stimulus money will begin flowing to local school districts beginning in July.

On Monday, some of the Platte County R-3 School District administration and board of education members watched a live broadcast from the Missouri School Boards Association (MSBA).

During the hour long broadcast from Jefferson City, MSBA representatives and officials from the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) answered questions about the funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

According to officials with DESE, Missouri will receive around $753 million to be distributed to school districts across Missouri. The officials are expecting to know an exact amount to be received by mid-April in order to allow districts to begin allocating the money for projects in the 2010 budget.

The funds being allocated through the ARRA can be spent on improving instruction in the classroom and also for repairing and maintaining school buildings. However, the funds cannot be spent to construct new buildings.

In order to use the funds, school districts are being required to document everything the stimulus money is being spent on. The districts will also have to report how many jobs are maintained or created with the funds.

The districts must also spend the money quickly after receiving it and cannot gain interest on any of the funds received.

The district administration and board members watched the broadcast at the District Education Center in a conference room.



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