Cuts Expected to Culver Schools’ Title I Grant

The Culver Community Schools Corporation will be able to continue its Title I program, but a $29,000 cut in the school’s Title I grant will make it a bit more difficult. The federal program provides resources to schools with high percentages of students from low-income families.

Elementary School Principal Erin Proskey told the school board Monday that last year’s Title I grant was for nearly $205,000. This year, school officials expect to get just over $175,000.

Proskey said that two teachers and two aides are paid out of those grant funds. Part of social worker Deb Stevens’ salary also used to come out of the Title I grant, but with her recent retirement, Proskey said the corporation will continue to be able to sustain those other positions. “So at this point, we’ve just made it by the skin of our teeth,” she said. “If they cut us any more than that, then we will have to probably rethink our title program.” Proskey said there will be a shortfall of over $1,000 that will have to be covered by the corporation’s General Fund.

Board member Bill Sonnemaker called for school officials and local residents to hold lawmakers accountable for the funding cut. Superintendent Karen Shuman said she and other superintendents have been taking action. “We talk to senators and go to those legislative sessions to give our opinion,” she said. “We send letters constantly stating the need of different title funding. Title II funding is also something else that’s being cut at this moment in time. So there’s that potential cut also coming down the line.” But she is optimistic that lawmakers’ increased interest in improving science and math skills will eventually lead to more funding.