DATE: Sept. 9, 2010

GOV. BARBOUR SUBMITS APPLICATION FOR
$98 MILLION IN FEDERAL EDUCATION FUNDS

JACKSON – Gov. Haley Barbour today applied for the $98 million in federal funds for school districts that was included in a recent $26.1 billion bill passed by Congress. The federal government is expected to release the funds in September or October.

In a letter, Gov. Barbour informed local school boards and superintendents of the formal application but cautioned districts to save the money for fiscal year 2012 when the state budget will be tight.

“Many school districts wisely plan to save them for next year; however, some of you plan to spend them on current expenses even though your budgets are already set and contracts are in place,” Gov. Barbour wrote. “If you choose the latter, I want to remind you that these federal funds will not be available next year. Nor will you have your share of millions of dollars in stimulus funds for use during FY12.”

The U.S. Department of Education requires the money be spent by September 2012, which allows districts to reserve the money for the next school year. With the loss of stimulus funds in FY 2012, the state’s education budget will lose $375 million that was available in the current year. Overall, the state potentially faces a $1 billion shortfall in FY 2012.

“In addition, if you decide to spend these funds, recall that the federal legislation limits your use of these funds,” Gov. Barbour wrote. “The education jobs funding must be used only for compensation and benefits to retain and rehire employees or hire new employees and can not be used for administrative or other support services expenditures.”

Barbour Press