Budget approved for MCMS charter school
By Kathryn Purcell
The Morgan County Board of Education voted unanimously to approve the Morgan County Middle School Charter School Program Implementation Grant Budget at a called meeting last Thursday.
The federally funded budget totals $202,000 – $102,000 for the first year of implementation, the current school year, and $100,000 for the second year, the 2008-2009 school year, according to Superintendent Stan DeJarnett. The funds will be used on items including instructional services, tutorial programs and SMART Boards, among other things.
“We’ve been promised the amount, but we have to tell them how we’ll spend it,” DeJarnett said.
Morgan County Middle School has been operating this year as a charter school, as the school’s charter status was approved by the state Board of Education in March 2007.
The road to gaining the federal funds associated with the charter status, however, has been a long one for the middle school.
The school initially applied for charter school status in February 2000, according to DeJarnett. However, the application lulled in the state Department of Education office due to the re-writing of state charter school legislation and changes in leadership within the office.
After the middle school’s charter school petition was returned to the local level for updates, the petition for Morgan County Middle School’s charter status came back before the state Board of Education in March of 2007. While the petition was approved, the state was at the end of its funding cycle by that point, DeJarnett said.
The state re-applied to the federal Department of Education, and was notified in July 2007 that funding would be available. In order to receive the funding, however, the state must submit a budget which, in turn, requires each of the state’s charter schools to turn in a budget.
This called meeting was held for the Morgan County Board of Education to approve the middle school’s charter school budget so that it could be submitted to the state on time.
The school should receive the federal funding in April or May, according to DeJarnett.