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Federal Funding to Local Title 1 Teachers Could Be Cut

Local schools may have even more troubles ahead if the government doesn't reopen soon.
The Dothan Head Start Program came close to shutting down and the Early Head Start did close its doors. But now the Dothan School Board may be looking at an even worse situation. Over 200 of Dothan City School's Title 1 employees are paid with federal funding. The program is for disadvantaged students and many schools in the area qualify for the funding. But if the government remains closed it could be only a matter of days before the funding is cut. It sounds alarming, but we spoke with Dothan superintendent, Tim Wilder, today and he says as of right now teachers shouldn't be worried.

"We knew right away that if the government continued to stay shut down then the possibility of cutting idea and title one is certainly there they've told us that," said Wilder.

At schools like Selma Street Elementary, every teacher is considered to be a title one teacher. That's because almost 90 percent of the students are considered under the funding requirements to be disadvantaged. Now not all of those teachers are paid with federal dollars, but some are. But Wilder says he'd look at other ways to cut back and keep teachers employed as long as possible.

“If they come at us and say okay if the government stays shut down for five more days, ten more days we're not going to give you a month's worth of allocation which means for us it could mean books or it could mean supplies but not people yet. If this thing lasts for a long time and they cut off funding for that it may come to a point where we have to cut staff but I don't see that happening right now," said Wilder.

He says there will be little to no warning that the funds will be cut so all he and everyone else can do is wait.
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