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Henry Schools to get more state money

By Johnny Jackson

jjackson@henryherald.com

The Henry County school system stands to get nearly $3 million more in state-allotted funding this year, according to officials in the school district.

Changes in the way the state allots funds for education based on per-pupil counts may benefit an ever-growing school district like Henry County, said Jeff Allie, Henry's assistant superintendent of finance.

Allie said comparisons between Henry County's "initial allotment" and "midterm allotment" reports, provided by the Georgia Department of Education on March 22, will give the school district a net gain of more than $2.9 million from its initial state allotment.

The finance officer explained that school districts receive a set amount of funding from the state based on the district's student population, or Full-Time Enrollment (FTE) count. They also receive additional funding for state-directed Early Intervention Programs (EIP) based on the number of students enrolled in those programs.

"The new EIP model created a significant change in our FTE funding," Allie said. "We were one of the few systems in the state to realize an overall increase in our FTE count between October 2008 and October 2009."

The school district, he added, grew by 1,043 students over that time.

Allie said the state's new EIP model, being implemented this year in the elementary schools, allows EIP students to be with the same teacher during the school day. He said the previous model allowed students to receive EIP service outside of their regular education classrooms.

"Under the new model, we receive EIP funding for all students in a classroom with a student receiving EIP services," Allie said. "Our overall FTE count for elementary students decreased by 68 students," he continued. "However, the implementation of the new EIP model increased our elementary funding by $2.9 million [from the state]."