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State Funding Will Be A Boon For San Bernardino Schools

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More than 10 schools in the San Bernardino City Unified School District are in line to receive millions in state funding meant to improve the quality of education for students.

The financial windfall, which was made available by the Quality Education Investment Act, could allow 13 District schools to reduce overcrowding, better train teachers, and hire more staff and counselors, all key components of a school's success. It would also allow for more training for principals at the selected schools.

Dr. Arturo Delgado
"We're very happy that the state is considering giving us this money," said Superintendent Dr. Arturo Delgado.  "This funding gives us an added degree of confidence that our existing programs and future plans can succeed."

To announce the projected funding, Dr. Delgado and top District officials held a press conference on Tuesday, May 1 from 11 a.m. to noon in Conference Rooms A and B of the Board of Education building, located at 777 North F Street in San Bernardino.

District officials are excited that San Bernardino Unified could receive one of the largest chunks of QEIA funding in California about $70 to $75 million over seven years.

Since there are more schools eligible for funding than can be supported with available funds, districts determined the order in which schools are selected for funding. San Bernardino City Unified applied for the funding on behalf of 40 schools. Of those, 13 are slated to receive QEIA funding.

The winning schools will annually receive $500 per pupil from kindergarten through grade 3, $900 from grades 4 through 8, and $1,000 for grades 9 through 12.  Under the rules, each school must develop a plan describing what school administrators will do with the money.

Statewide, the Quality Education Investment Act will provide nearly $3 billion over seven years to schools in decile ranks 1 and 2 on the 2005 Academic Performance Index.  In the initial funding year of 2007-08, the amount distributed to schools will be slightly lower.  Up to $2 million will be allocated to county offices of education to annually monitor the implementation of this reform program in funded schools.

After the first three years of full funding, schools in the program must exceed their Academic Performance Index (API) growth target averaged over the first three years of funding.  According to the law, a school funded by QEIA that continues to meet the program and achievement requirements shall be funded annually through the 2013-14 fiscal year.

The QEIA was approved in September by the state legislature. It was the result of a compromise to settle a lawsuit filed jointly by State Superintendent of Schools Jack O'Connell and the California Teachers Association against Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and the California Department of Finance for failing to fully fund Proposition 98 in the 2004-05 and 2005-06 budget years per an agreement made with educators the previous year.

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