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Bemidji School District to receive federal funding

Bemidji School District will receive roughly $1.1 million from the federal government to fund staff positions for the 2010-11 and 2011-12 school years.

Nationally, the federal Education Jobs Fund will provide $10 billion for states. U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan expects the funding to save at least 160,000 educators who would have otherwise been laid off.

This year, $300,000 will fund five fulltime-equivalent staff positions. Teachers will be added to one first-grade and one fifth-grade class at Northern Elementary School, one fifth-grade class at Horace May Elementary, one combination third-and-fourth-grade grade at Solway and one third grade at Lincoln Elementary.

One fulltime-equivalent allied arts teacher will also be hired, costing an additional $60,000. The district is considering a proposal to use the Education Jobs Fund dollars to hire an elementary science specialist to help strengthen science classes.

The school district will decide at a later time how the rest of the funding will be used.