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The rest of the story

In recent weeks, much has been written and said about the $33,404 in compensation former School Superintendent Paul Stapleton received when he retired from the school system on June 30 of this year.

He collected lump sum payments of $26,733.08 in May and $6,671.68 in June  for unused vacation and sick leave days, respectively.

What hasn’t been discussed or published, however, is how much money the former school superintendent helped bring into the county school coffers in the form of grants he applied for and received on behalf of the school system.

Former state police officer and former ED-6 school board member D. H. “Mac” McDowell Jr. brought this matter to our attention last week saying the public needs to know that during most of Paul Stapleton’s tenure as superintendent, between 2004 and 2011, a total of $7,224,152 in local grants and  $15,350,000 in regional grants were secured.

The former school board member provided the following breakdown of locally funded grants:

• Between 2004-2011, Halifax County Public Schools Education Foundation received grant funding of $1.4 million;

• In 2009, ProEngineer CAD Program got a $1 million grant;

• In 2007 an $894,330 grant was received for Teaching American History;

• In 2004, a Smaller Learning Communities grant was received totaling $799,755;

• Between 2010-2013, Sinai Elementary was awarded a 21st Century After School Learning Program grant for $600,000;

• From 2009-2012, Halifax County High School was awarded a 21st Century After School Learning Program grant for $540,000;

• From 2009-2012, Halifax County Middle School was awarded a 21st Century After School Learning Program grant for $540,000;

• In 2009, Southside Virginia Community College Motorcycle Technician Shop was awarded a $500,000 grant;

• In 2007, the school system received a Dominion Power grant for $300,000;

• In 2011, a $269,067 grant was secured for a VCU Math Specialist;

• In 2009, the school system got a $100,000 Governor’s CTE Academy grant;

• In 2009, Lowe’s Foundation awarded the school system a $75,000 grant;

• Between 2006-2010, the school system received a $60,000 Virginia Farm Bureau Insurance grant;

• In 2007, Scottsburg Elementary got a science lab thanks to a grant for $50,000;

• In 2011, the school system got another $38,000 grant for the Governor’s CTE Academy;

• In 2008, a $25,000 grant was awarded for Beyond Question Technology (Clickers);

• In 2009, an Alcoa grant for $7,000 was received;

• In 2006, the school system received a $5,000 (Japanese) Department of State International Exchange grant;

• In 2008, a $5,000 grant was awarded for Virginia Career Education;

• In 2008, the system received a $5,000 grant from the Virginia Department of Educational Technology;

• In 2006, the Chastain Home awarded the schools a $5,000 grant;

• In 2009, WoodLINKS received a $5,000 grant; and

• In 2008, a $1,000 grant was awarded for the Robotics Competition.

Regional grants applied for and received during the former school superintendent’s time in office include the following:

• In 2007, the Digispired Middle School received $1.9 million in grant funding;

• In 2009, a $250,000 grant was awarded ODU Math; and

•  In 2006, the county school system received a $13.2 million grant for the National Math and Science Initiative for Advanced Placement.

Former school board trustee McDowell also points out during Stapleton’s time as superintendent, he made it possible for 236 students to earn associate degrees before graduating high school, and 352 First Year Study Certificates were awarded for a total of 66,621 college credits earned over the seven-year period. 

(And these numbers don’t include any of the students who graduated in the class of 2012 with associate degrees and First Year Certificates.)

Translated, if these high school students had attended a community college to take the same classes, they would have paid $101 for each of the 66,261 credits for a total tuition savings of $6,692,361.

If the credits had been taken at a Virginia four-year university or college at a rate of $278 per credit hour during this same period, tuition savings amount to $18,420,558.

And as Paul Harvey so famously used to say, now you’ve heard “the rest of the story. Good day.”