Pike County BOE gets money from state

Published 12:00 am Sunday, September 10, 2000

Staff Writer

The $427,000 promised by the state is on its way.

At the Pike County Board of Education meeting on Aug. 21, Superintendent John Key told members and those in attendance that the money from the Alabama Department of Economic and Community affairs promised for the School-to-Career program wasn’t coming, even after the contract had been signed.

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He said the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs had promised the money with a contract already signed by Gov. Don Siegelman and Key for School-to-Work funds from the state.

Then, the week before the meeting, Key found out the money wasn’t available. What made things more complicated is the school system had already hired someone for the job and were worried she would have to be terminated.

That’s when State Rep. Alan Boothe, D-Troy, and State Sen. Wendell Mitchell, D-Luverne, begin asking questions.

They got their answer on Friday when the official word was released that the school system would be getting the money.

"We’re very pleased we have received the notification we’ll get this project," Key said Friday.

Since the school system had already hired Ann Barbaree to oversee the program, some of the state funds will be used to reimburse the county for what has had to be taken out of the general fund budget.

Key’s happy the School-to-Career program for Pike County has been saved.

"It’s a good program in regard to the at-risk students," Key said.

"It’s one of the programs that is working. That was why we had some concerns. We didn’t want to lose that."

Boothe and Mitchell are glad they could help.

"I felt confident they (state officials) were looking at it," Boothe said.

Mitchell was also pleased "the governor saw fit to release this money."

He can’t figure out why it took so long.

"I’m at a loss, quite frankly, they wanted to divert it," Mitchell said.

Boothe said he believes some of the problem was the result in some changes, such as the director, in ADECA.

But, the situation had a positive aspect, as well, Boothe said.

"It showed the community is concerned," he said, adding he received letters and phone calls from people who were worried the county schools wouldn’t get the funding necessary to continue the program.