2017-08-12 / Front Page

County seeks school funding


Person County commissioners, at their Aug. 7 meeting, approved a request to submit applications for for up to $495,000 in N.C. State Lottery Fund money to pay for a number of public school projects planned for the next six months. The cost for the projects totals

According to state law, a portion of lottery proceeds are transferred to the Public School Capital Fund. There are a few stipulations attached: no county shall have to provide matching funds; a county may use the money to pay for school construction projects and to retire debt incurred for construction projects; and a county cannot use the funds to pay for technology needs.

The applications have to be pre-approved by both the local board of education and the board of commissioners, and signed by each chairman after approval. The finance director for the board of education will then submit the applications to the Department of Public Instruction for review. It typically takes around two weeks before confirmation of funding from the DPI.

The Person County school system wants to use the money on a number of projects.

• Terrazzo flooring at Person High, $54,000. This ongoing project is to grind, hone, polish and seal corridor hallways at the high school, with an estimated completion date of August 18.

• Replace toilet partitions at Helena Elementary School, $25,000. The partitions were damaged by students and need replacing for safety and sanitation.

• Replace Exterior Doors at North End Elementary School, $25,000. The doors are in poor condition and original to the building.

• New filter system at North End Elementary School, $4,500. The filter system is needed to eliminate iron discoloration of water.

• Fire alarm replacements at North End, Oak Lane, South and North Elementary Schools, $25,000. Fire alarm panels are out of date and need replacing.

• ADA Handicap walkway/ ramp at Person High School, $45,000. Installation of walkway and ramp to allow handicap access to track, ball fields and weight room as required by ADA.

• Replace tennis courts at Person High School, $125,000. Replace existing tennis courts.

• New windows at South Elementary School, $35,000. Replace exterior building windows.

• Replace toilet partitions at Southern Middle School, $15,000. Replace partitions to meet current health regulations.

• Replace carpet in media center at Stories Creek Elementary School, $22,000. Current carpet is in poor condition: worn and frayed.

• Replace asphalt at Woodland Elementary School, $20,000. It has deteriorated over time.

• Building Renovations at Northern Middle School, $100,000. These are additional funds to an already approved project to include replacing the gym floor, installing exterior cameras, additional cabling and repainting the running track.

Lottery funds make a big difference

Lottery funds have made a difference in Person County every year since 2006. The cumulative total since that year has been $15,865,335.

In 2016, education programs in Person received $1,716,906 in lottery funds. The state legislature decides how to use the money provided to the state by the lottery each year.

For FY 2016, $934,408 went to non-instructional support, including the costs of support staff such


A story in Saturday’s edition of The Courier- Times incorrectly reported that some of the charges against Neal DeJean were not related to a 2015 crash in South Carolina that killed two Person County girls. All three charges De- Jean pleaded guilty to were in connection with that wreck. as office assistants, custodians and substitutes.

About $312,000 went to school construction to build and repair schools. This helps meet needs that otherwise would have to be paid for by other means such as property taxes. Local officials decide to use construction funds the county receives.

About $300,000 goes to prekindergarten. The N.C. Pre-K program serves four-year old children who are at risk of falling behind their peers as they prepare for kindergarten. Due to lottery funds, 63 children in Person County were provided a free pre-school last year.

About $132,000 went to provide scholarships based on financial need to help students cover the costs of attending a state university or community college in North Carolina. Last year, 122 students from Person County received scholarships.

Lottery Funds also provide about $38,000 in financial aid through the UNC Need-Based Grant Program. The money supports grants to help students cover the costs of attending a state university within the UNC system. Last year, 192 Person County students received those grants.

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