By John Higgins
Beacon Journal staff writer
Akron Public Schools can expect about $6.6 million in federal help to pay its teachers.
The money is part of the $10 billion that Congress set aside for education jobs last month.
Local districts will have some latitude in how to spend the money, but it must be spent on people who work directly with students.
''We can bring people back, pay salaries and benefits for current people in order to prevent further layoffs,'' Akron Superintendent David James said.
School starts today in Akron and the district will check enrollment every week to get an accurate picture.
The enrollment figures could determine whether laid-off teachers will be brought back about eight or nine remain on the layoff list. If the enrollment declines sharply, it could force the district to trim further its teaching ranks.
''It's our hope that we would have to add teachers so we're not in a situation where we have too many, because it's easier to add a teacher than it is to take one away,'' James said. ''If we don't have more students and we're going to have to cut, we would have to suspend contracts on the basis of declining enrollment of anyone who is left working.''
Either way, Akron officials say the federal money would help. The district could use it to make current payroll.
''Or we could hold onto it until next fiscal year and then use it to shore up our funds to maintain our current payroll of teachers,'' James said. ''We could just bank it, but it has to be spent by September of 2012.''
The federal law specifies that the money be used for salaries and benefits for hiring, rehiring, retaining teachers and others supporting the daily education of Ohio's students, according to a news release from state Rep. Stephen Dyer, D-Green.
Dyer also released a list late Tuesday afternoon of Akron-Canton area districts and charter schools receiving a portion of the $361 million Ohio expects to receive.
Summit County districts include:
• Barberton: $987,338
• Copley-Fairlawn: $61,590
• Coventry: $410,259
• Cuyahoga Falls: $591,099
• Green: $557,509
• Hudson: $620,120
• Manchester: $283,805
• Mogadore: $182,244
• Nordonia Hills: $245,691
• Norton: $488,953
• Revere: $99,405
• Springfield: $399,997
• Stow-Munroe Falls: $802,868
• Tallmadge: $349,173
• Twinsburg: $213,240
• Woodridge: $45,297
The state will be the one to distribute the funds using its new school-funding formula adopted last year. The complicated formula takes into account more than two dozen components based on educational needs of the district and its students.