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Jeffersons school system removed from stimulus pool
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Instead of filling out an application for a share of stimulus funds, Jefferson City Schools is busy trying to determine if it is still eligible for the funds.

“In September, we submitted a letter of intent that we were interested in applying for this interest-free construction bond funding, (and we received) communication that the 2010 applicants would receive notification in January,” said Kim Navas, system financial officer.

“Thus, we waited until January to make contact again. In the meantime, we were supposed to receive another package requesting additional details. (However), based on our assessment, no one in our system received this additional request for more detailed information.”

The Qualified School Construction Bonds, which are being administered by the Georgia Department of Education, are funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The bonds unlike traditional loans, wouldn’t require participating systems to pay interest.

According to the state education department, school systems could use the bond funds for approved renovations, construction of a new facility or purchase of land for a new facility. Applications for funds are approved based on demonstrated need, among other things.

System officials hadn’t decided whether or not to officially apply for the loan, but not having the option could hurt the system’s coffers.

The loan could save the system — and taxpayers — about $10 million, system staff members said.

“We are in the process of trying to get this corrected so that we can still have the ability to participate if we deem it is in our best financial interest to pursue this funding,” Navas said. “We would like to have the ability to review the package to determine our path forward.”