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Halifax County schools to get $1,572,136

In additional federal aid

Halifax County is in line to receive $1,572,136 in additional federal aid for its school system from the Education Jobs and Medicaid Assistance Act.

As a whole, the 5th District will receive approximately $23.8 million from the Education Jobs and Medicaid Assistance Act, a full paid-for package of aid to states, according to a release from the 5th District Congressional office.

Funds are designed to support elementary and secondary teacher, school-level administrator and other essential school-level staff salaries and related costs, the release states.

Halifax County Schools Chief Financial Officer Bill Covington said no final decision has been made on how the money will be spent.

“It’s about what we were expecting, and it’s all targeted to provide jobs and hire personnel. It’s narrowly focused on job retention and hiring employees who have been laid off,” he added.

However, he pointed out the additional funding only covers a specific length of time, so school officials are being careful as they make plans to spend the one time federal funds allocation.

“It’s a reimbursement type deal, but it’s pretty eminent,” he added.

Across the 5th District, the package will fund approximately 437 teaching positions and mitigate cuts already made by state and local governments. The bill was paid for, in part, by closing the tax loopholes that reward companies for sending jobs overseas, according to the release.

“Investments in education are crucial to rebuilding our area’s competitive advantage as we fight for good jobs and economic recovery in Central and Southside, Virginia,” said 5th District Rep. Tom Perriello. “This money is going to keep teachers in the classroom and prepare students to be competitive in a global economy. It was a fiscally responsible way to provide aid to localities and schools that have been hit hard during this downturn.”

Earlier this week, Governor Robert F. McDonnell wrote U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to request the funds made available to Virginia by the legislation.

The Virginia Department of Education will distribute funds as they previously distributed aid from the Recovery Act’s State Fiscal Stabilization Fund.

Money can be used by school districts to recall or rehire former employees, retain existing employees and hire new employees that provide school-level services.

In addition to Halifax County, other 5th District counties receiving funds include the following:

Albemarle                   $1,942,777
Appomattox                $608,837
Bedford Co.           $2,030,573
Bedford City                $179,335
Brunswick                    $613,882
Buckingham                $570,011
Campbell                     $2,055,441
Charlotte                     $596,385
Charlottesville             $810,339
Cumberland                $390,829
Danville                       $1,780,929
Fluvanna                      $790,738
Franklin                       $1,615,903
Greene                        $682,074
Henry                          $1,907,798
Lunenburg                   $453,560
Martinsville                 $642,364
Mecklenburg               $1,185,954
Nelson                         $330,652
Pittsylvania                  $2,389,890
Prince Edward             $698,370

The aid to states package also included $289 million for its Medicaid program to help provide basic medical care to low-income Virginians. It extends enhanced Medicaid support to states that were originally enacted as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act for six months with a gradual phasing down to pre-Recovery Act levels.

In February 2010, 47 governors, including McDonnell, wrote Congressional leadership asking for “assistance in protecting jobs and speeding economic recovery by extending the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act’s (ARRA) enhanced federal match for Medicaid (FMAP) for two additional quarters.”

In order to help pay for the aid to states, the Education Jobs and Medicaid Assistance Act eliminated tax provisions that encouraged companies to ship jobs overseas, beginning in 2011.

The current foreign tax credit is designed to prevent corporations from being taxed twice, once by the United States and once by a foreign country, for income that is earned abroad.

However, companies have devised schemes that enable them to operate offshore with essentially little or no tax liability to either the U.S. or the foreign government.

As a result, U.S. multinational corporations paid an effective U.S. tax rate of just 2 percent on their $700 billion of foreign earnings, far less than the average worker pays on their income, the release stated.