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DSCF will return to grant application process

This fall the Demopolis City Schools Foundation will return to its original practice of awarding grants to teachers through an application process.

But it’s not totally ignoring the problems teachers face through severe budget cuts.

Because of the financial crunch, the Alabama Board of Education slashed funding in the 2009-2010 budget for what is known as teacher-fee money, the funds to purchase items for classroom use.

For the first time since it began, the Foundation suspended its grant application process and stepped in to partially fill the gap left by state cuts. The Foundation awarded each certified educator in Demopolis $292.40, split in two payments.

The state allocation for teachers is cut from the budget next year also. The Foundation’s Board of Directors, however, determined the organization should return to its original purpose of funding those extras that mean the difference between an adequate and an excellent education for Demopolis youth.

The $50,000 budgeted for the 2010-2011 year will be divided in two. Half will go for teacher-fee money, or approximately $145 per teacher. The other half will be distributed through a grant application process that the Foundation has used in past years.

Teachers have until August 26 to submit an application. The guidelines and application are available at the Foundation office, 102 E. Washington St. Next week they also will be on the school system website and on the Foundation website.

Since its start the Foundation has awarded more than $756,000 to teachers, librarians and counselors in the Demopolis system for projects, programs and equipment that cannot be paid for through the school system budget.

To raise money for the grants, the Foundation relies fund-raisers and on hundreds of members who support its work through annual contributions. Those supporters will be honored at a luncheon in July.

For more information about the Foundation, call 334-289-2226 or email dcsf@westal.net.