Stimulus Dollars to be Spent on Teacher Salaries
Last week, when Alachua County School Board officials found out they would be receiving stimulus money, it was a relief. Now they've decided how it will be spent.
The $9.1 million will be used to pay the salaries of 250 annual contract teachers for each of the next two years. School board officials say without the stimulus money, they would have faced a possible reduction in salaries for all district employees.
"In talking with other districts and what other people are doing, one way, one of the requirements in the stimulus fund is to maintain employment," said Assistant Superintendent of Planning and Budget Keith Birkett. "So this would be maintaining the employment of those teachers."
Gunnar Paulson, President of the Alachua County Education Association, said he wasn't surprised by the board's decision. He said he hopes to put pressure on the state legislature, so that districts won't face the same problems when the stimulus funding ends in two years.
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