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McComb Schools Reject Stimulus Funds

October 8, 2009
tags: McComb School District, stimulus
by Brett

A big thumps up to the Southwest Mississippi school district that decided the government money was not worth the strings that are attached to it.

From the Enterprise Journal:

The McComb School District has backed away from participating in the federal Qualified School Construction Bond program that would have allowed the district to borrow up to $3 million.

Superintendent Therese Palmertree, who attended a state superintendents’ meeting on Tuesday, told district trustees later in the day that it appeared too many strings were attached to the money.

In August, the district approved setting up Tiger Paws Inc., a nonprofit, separate entity made up of the district’s trustees — a move that was necessary in order to accept the federal money. The loan would have been repaid interest-free.

However, Palmertree said that any district that accepts a dollar of the money would be under intense scrutiny, with demanding oversight by the federal government for every step taken.

“I just feel we might need to step back from this,” she said. Palmertree proposed that the district instead borrow from its 16th Section principal funds to finance the school improvements.

School board attorney Ashley Atkinson said Tuesday that banks that had been interested in participating in the QSCB program had seen their interest rates lowered, making it less desirable for them to be involved.

The money for the program is being provided to states through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act — the stimulus bill approved by Congress.

The district will have 20 years to repay the 16th Section loan.

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