Members of the Caverna Independent School District’s school board amended the district’s 2010-11 working budget Thursday night to include a federal Edujobs grant of more than $160,000.

Officials recently learned the school district would be receiving the grant money.

“It’s designed to be used for salaries and benefits and to be able to either hire new people or maintain the number of people you have now, so you won’t have to have layoffs as time goes on,” said Dr. Sam Dick, superintendent.

Legislation allocating the grant money was not approved until this summer.

“They knew our budgets are due Sept. 30, and they knew they were getting money but they didn’t tell us how much it was until the last week,” said Penny Boeckmann, finance officer. “Most people had already sent their budgets in, so now everybody has got to [amend their budgets].”

Every school district in the state received Edujobs grant. How much each district received was determined by the districts’ 2009 average daily attendance. The Metcalfe County School System also received the grant. Metcalfe County received $413,105, and is using the money to sustain personnel. General fund monies have been freed to continue after school programs at the district’s elementary schools that were once funded by a 21st Century Grant program, which has since ended, said Lauri Perkins, finance director.

Approximately $15,000 of Caverna’s grant money has already been used to fund the salary and benefits for a full-time teacher aide’s position in the district’s preschool program.

School board member Marla Wilson likes having the grant.

“I think it’s a really good thing to have,” she said. “It will allow us to maintain positions and not get to a point where we have to lay some people off.”

Boeckmann said the district will not use the grant money to fund any other positions. Instead, it will use the money to continue funding positions that are currently being paid by stimulus grant money, she said.

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