Several Onslow County schools see Title I funding cuts

Several Onslow County schools see Title I funding cuts

JACKSONVILLE, ONSLOW COUNTY -  Hands on activities, computers and reading -- something those at Clyde Erwin Elementary School aren't taking for granted. The school is one of 18 elementary schools in Onslow County that qualifies for Title I funding.

Suzie Ulbrich with Onslow County Schools says elementary schools are funded in this area because the school system has chosen to divide the money into much smaller pots of dollars since most of the schools qualify.

"We feel the money is best served, has the most impact, being used at the elementary level since the elementary school years is where students build academic foundations," Ulbrich said in an email."

Teacher Cathy Dalimonte thinks it's important for students to have different ways of learning through technology or hands-on activities.

"A majority of our students don't have these at home, and it's essential especially the technology, essential for the kids to be able to manipulate and feel at ease using it," Dalimonte said.

Dalimonte says Title I funding helps pay for technology and other materials for learning that she has in her classroom. Clyde Erwin will receive $67,886.60 less in funding.

"Unfortunately, with continued cuts with the Title I...with the majority of the things that we have in this particular room are through grants that we've had to write," Dalimonte said.

Schools qualify for the program based on how many students rely on the free or reduced lunch program. According to the school's website, "Title I is a federally funded program under the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) of 2001.  The law, which was signed into effect on January 8, 2002, amends the Elementary and Secondary Act of 1965 (ESEA), and replaces the Improving America's Schools Act of 1994.  The act contains four basic principles: stronger accountability for results, increased flexibility and local control, more choices for parents and students, and an emphasis on research-based instructional strategies.

"The purpose of the Title I program is to help low-achieving students meet our state's challenging academic content and performance standards.  Schools qualify for Title I funds based on economic need.  The Title I program offers a variety of services for participating schools, which may include: additional teachers and support staff, extra time for instruction, a variety of teaching methods and materials, smaller classes and additional training for staff."

The school's principal says 67 percent of the students at Clyde Erwin rely on free or reduced lunch. She says the lack of Title I funding may have come from parents just not filing out the paperwork. She encourages parents to fill out these forms for the next school year. The school expects about the same percentage next school year.

Dalimonte hopes all students will continue to use technology and hands-on learning with even a new budget, just like her daughter had.

"If it wasn't for her coming through Clyde Erwin and then New Bridge, I don't think she would have had that and Title I funds paid for a majority of that," Dalimonte said.

The other schools that will see change are Northwoods Elementary, Bell Fork Elementary, Hunters Creek Elementary, Summersill Elementary, Jacksonville Commons Elementary, Sandridge Elementary, Meadow View Elementary, Queens Creek Elementary, Southwest Elementary, Silverdale Elementary, Morton Elementary, Richlands Elementary, Dixon Elementary, Richlands Primary and Swansboro Elementary.

Parkwood Elementary has been added to the list, therefore the school will gain $99,072.95 in funding.

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