School districts hope jobs bill will make a difference - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

School districts hope jobs bill will make a difference

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WAVERLY (KWWL) -- President Obama signed a bill into law providing $10 billion to support an estimated 160,000 education jobs nationwide. The state of Iowa will receive $96 million which will pay for 1800 jobs.

"For us last year it meant about a $1.2 million in cuts in funding so that put a pretty big strain on us," said Superintendent Jere Vyverberg of Waverly- Shell Rock.

Superintendent Vyverberg says the school had to cut a number of extras and even eliminated five positions.

States officials say they don't know yet how the money will be divided between school districts.

"We do know its $96 million dollars to Iowa and we do know it has to be spent on K-12 education salaries and it has to be spent this fiscal year," Elaine Watkins-Miller of the Iowa Department of Education.

"We understand this is one time money and it's very difficult for any school district to use one time money for long-term expenditures. What we do hope and what most people hope is that this will help us to get through an economic crisis that we're all going through and perhaps a year or 18 months from now this will be better," said Vyverberg.

In order to ensure that states receive funding as quickly as possible, the Department of Education will streamline the application process so that states can submit applications within days. The department will award funding to states within two weeks of their submission of an approved application.

Some people have raised concerns about how this jobs bill is being funded. It has required $12 million to be taken away from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or food stamps as it's more commonly known. Those concerned say that food stamps program is needed more than ever since the economic downturn.

 

Online Reporter: John Wilmer

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