Rutherford County Schools vote to apply for stimulus funds for special education students at its Tuesday night meeting.
In April, RCS received more than $4.2 million for the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), approximately half of the available funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
The stimulus money represents significant funding for programs that help ensure children with disabilities, including children age 3-5, are provided services that meet their needs.
Possible uses of these funds could include professional training for special education teachers, data collection to improve teaching and learning, and improving overall student achievement.
The board will also vote on one use of the funding: The Oakland High School Special Education Department Green Thumb Project.
Oakland High School Principal Bill Spurlock wants to build a greenhouse to create a learning environment for special needs students.
This project will allow students with severe physical and cognitive disabilities hands-on experiences in the areas of planting, care and marketing of plants.
The students will learn pre-vocational and vocational skills and will learn that there are ways to overcome their personal challenges and be an effective part of the world around them.
The Comprehensive Development Class (CDC) seeks to be involved in a collaborative project with the Horticulture Department at Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) and Dr. Nate Phillips in establishing a Horticulture Therapy Program.
The greenhouse will cost an estimated $44,000. Additional supplies, materials, and construction costs for the project are estimated at approximately $36,000, which includes utilities.
The board will also vote to transfer ownership of 6 acres of land at the old Rockvale School to the Rutherford County Commission.
The Rockvale Community Center has leased the land for many years.
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