Project Success summer school teachers in Georgetown won’t be paid immediately for the work they did this year. Their compensation was dependent on the 21st Century grant that expired June 15.

The summer school program for both Georgetown and Westville schools ran a $15,000 deficit, which included teacher pay and transportation costs.

To make up the loss, Project Success will have to conduct fundraisers, according to Project Success Executive Director Alice Kirby. She said incorrect information was provided to the Commercial-News in a story Tuesday.

Teachers’ compensation will come from future fundraising efforts. Their pay won’t come from the new Project Success budget.

“We over-spent (the grant) by having too many teachers for summer school and we weren’t sure we were even going to get this grant that would continue it for another five years,” Kirby said.

Some individuals involved in the federally-funded Project Success program thought that because the Georgetown and Westville schools had learned they’d receive another five-year grant, that teacher compensation would come from the new contract, but that isn’t the case, Kirby said.

“We’re going to make our best efforts to pay the teachers that volunteered their time at Westville and Georgetown Ridge Farm high schools, to reimburse them for the hours they generously donated for two weeks,” Kirby said.

Seven teachers worked the session, which started June 8 and ends Thursday.

The program includes English, math, science and social studies. The teachers include one special education instructor.

The new five year grant — for both schools — will fund the first year at $245,300. The money is divided equally between the two schools.

The grant money is available only to schools in Illinois that are on academic warning status for low test scores. Danville High School and South View Middle School also receive 21st Century grants.

Kirby said exact grant amounts aren’t available for the entire lifespan of the grant, but the last two years will see significant decreases.

“It’s contingent on what is available through federal dollars,” she said.

The summer school program isn’t the only one Project Success is under-budgeting. The program as a whole faces huge losses this year.

“Our agency is going through a massive restructuring now,” Kirby said. “We’ve had significant layoffs because of the governor’s budget …”

All Vermilion County Teen REACH programs, which are funded by Project Success, were eliminated. The sites at the Boys and Girls Club of Danville, the Danville Family YMCA and the sites in Georgetown and Hoopeston served at least 100 youth per night.

The after-school programs helped middle school and high school-aged students complete homework and participate in positive activities that increased success rates in school and kept them out of trouble at home.

The programs’ budget was $285,000.

“We have hundreds and hundreds of youth across Illinois that have lost this as a resource,” Kirby said. “We have strong data that has shown the positive impact of Teen REACH over the years.”

Kirby has spoken with other community leaders whose organizations hosted Teen REACH sites, including Jeanne Mulvaney of United Way, Rickey Williams of the Boys and Girls Club and John Alexander of the YMCA.

They’d like to establish some program to replace Teen REACH if possible, she said.

“So we’ll have something for these kids so that all the work that has been done over the yeas showing the results is not lost. It’s done a very good job helping graduate rates, boosting grades and reducing delinquency,” Kirby said.

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