Local schools receiving $1 million grant from city for programs

The city of Columbus is approving a $1 million grant to Bartholomew Consolidated Schools to help develop the community’s workforce.

Dr. Jim Roberts, superintendent for the school district, explained to the Columbus City Council last night that, as in previous years, the money would go to three programs: $402 thousand dollars for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math initiatives; $267 thousand for transition planning; and $330 thousand to i-Grad. The transition planning helps move students with disabilities into the workforce or post-secondary education. i-Grad is working toward a 100 percent graduation rates among high school students.

This is the eighth year for the grants. Funds come from tax revenues generated from the community’s Tax Increment Financing Districts, controlled by the city’s redevelopment commission. Roberts pointed out that having those redevelopment dollars spent on local schools is nearly unprecedented in the state.

Councilman Tom Dell praised the redevelopment commission for reinvesting in education in the community. Councilman Tim Shuffett commended the school district for bringing back data that shows the positive effect the funding was having.

Columbus City Council approved the request last night.