SALAMANCA – After years of not receiving promised funding from casino revenue, the Salamanca School District received $5.7 million during Tuesday night’s meeting of the School Board.
The funds, which were presented by city officials, represent the revenue the district should have received for 2009 through the first five months of 2013.
Superintendent Robert Breidenstein said the funding has already been targeted.
“These funds will be utilized to jump-start our 21st Century Planning Committee and help support professional development, training, implementation of the Common Core learning standards and academic support for struggling students,” he said. “We are thrilled to have these funds in hand to accelerate our efforts to improve student outcomes.”
The planning committee is being tasked to reform initiatives to improve learning, performance and accountability in the district, Breidenstein said.
On an other issue, Breidenstein noted that as the district moves closer to implementing Common Core standards, school officials and residents still have reservations about the concept.
“The Salamanca District also has serious reservations about the speed, intensity, financial support and roll-out from the state Education Department to make this statewide goal a reality,” he said. “No one doubts the value of improved curriculum and aligned learning standards, but it still feels as though the state has not been as supportive or as timely as it needed to be for such a huge undertaking.”
Breidenstein also presented a preliminary presentation on the district budget for 2014-15, saying he is still committed to a zero tax increase while retaining staffing levels.