Written by Rich Forestano Friday, 28 December 2012 00:00
The Mineola School District has been selected to receive a $213,129 grant for the 2012-13 school year from the New York State Education Department, District Superintendent Michael Nagler revealed. Mineola is receiving the School District Management Efficiency Competitive Grant as a result of its application detailing the ways in which it has streamlined its costs.
Nagler mentioned that this is because the district closed two school buildings and reorganized resources while still providing educational programs for its students. He said the grant would be used on technology tools for students.
The grant cannot be used on a capital project or paid toward district salaries. The district applied for the grant in July.
Mineola closed two schools dating back to 2011. First, Cross Street School was closed, followed by Willis Avenue School this past September. Both schools have been leased to the Solomon Schechter Day School and Harbor Child Care, respectively.
Sixteen school districts in New York State attained the grant. Approximately 38 districts applied for the grant.
“Basically it asks districts to apply for monies on showing any kind of management efficiencies they may have,” said Nagler about the grant. “We applied on the basis that we consolidated our school district prior to a tax levy cap. We consolidated staff. We continued our educational programs and we saved money in the process. The state agreed with us.”
In the application, Dr. Nagler had to detail the actualized cost-savings of its reorganization plan during the 2011-12 school year, which totaled nearly $2.4 million. He also detailed how the savings, combined with the income from leasing Cross Street, has enabled Mineola to become pioneers with its utilization of technology in the classroom.
“The Board of Education and I are happy to bring this additional revenue to our district,” Nagler said.
By detailing its efficiency and savings each year, Mineola is eligible for the grant for the next two school years. The school district will have to maintain certain savings over that time span.
“The way a grant works is when you apply for the grant, you fill out something called an FS-10 and get it approved,” said Nagler. “In our FS-10, in how we’ll spend this money, it will be on technology like iPads, E-Spark and professional development. I’m toying with the notion to change that request to perhaps start a summer enrichment program. But there are some hurdles we have to jump through. I’m still debating that one.”
Governor Andrew Cuomo, not the state education department, controls the release of the grant, according to Nagler.
“Less than half received the award,” he said. “I have no idea what the other [amounts] of the other schools are. I am anticipating the governor to make a big announcement about these grants.”