BROADALBIN - The Broadalbin-Perth Central School District has been awarded a Management Efficiency Competitive Grant, a state grant worth $175,000 a year for the next three years for a total of $525,000.
Broadalbin-Perth plans to use the Management Efficiency Competitive Grant funds to purchase classroom technology, such as SmartBoards, tablets, laptops and the 3D projection system piloted in the high school last year, according to a news release.
The district also will use grant funds to pay for professional development for teachers on how to maximize the use of these tools in daily classroom instruction.
Combined with the Virtual Advanced Placement grant that Broadalbin-Perth received earlier in the week, the district is slated to receive nearly $1 million through the two grant programs.
"I really have to credit our leadership team and Board of Education for their shared vision and progressive leadership in pursuing these funding opportunities," Superintendent of Schools Stephen Tomlinson said in the release. "At a time when other school districts are being forced to cut Advanced Placement classes and technology budgets, these two grants will allow Broadalbin-Perth to provide more opportunities for our students."
According to the news release, "The School District Management Efficiency Award Program supports investments in comprehensive and innovative strategies that lead to improved results for students, long-term gains in school and school system capacity, and increased productivity and effectiveness."
In its application for the grant, Broadalbin-Perth demonstrated quantifiable and sustainable savings and efficiency in the areas of transportation, energy, and health insurance for employees and retirees. In all, the district demonstrated $584,257 in savings in those areas during the 2009-10 school year alone, the release said.
In 2012, Broadalbin-Perth received a five-star rating from the Buffalo Business Journal in both cost-effectiveness and administrative efficiency, with rankings of 36th and 38th, respectively, out of 430 upstate school districts.
According to the Business Review this year, Broadalbin-Perth ranks 81st out of 91 school districts in the Greater Capital Region in per-pupil spending. The district ranks seventh in the region with a 2012 graduation rate of 91.5 percent.
According to the Management Efficiency Grant guidelines, the district is not allowed to spend grant funds on recurring costs, such as salaries, benefits or basic operating expenditures, or on capital improvements to buildings and grounds.
In general, grant funds cannot be used to offset the local tax levy. They are earmarked for specific programs and services and must supplement, rather than supplant, regular district funding sources, the news release said.
"We're choosing to invest this grant into technology and professional development because we believe they will have the most lasting impact on our students' achievement," Tomlinson said. "Without the grant funds, this large of an investment in technology and related professional development would have been impossible."
Levi Pascher covers Gloversville news. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.