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Board approves federal funds to help low-income students

A poor student has to work harder to learn.

That’s the premise of a federal program granting $72 million — on top of normal funding for the upcoming school year — to 91 Clark County schools with enough poor children to qualify.

The Elementary and Secondary Education Act attempts to bridge the gap between academic achievement of low-income students and the rest by annually dispersing funding to the nation’s poorest public schools.

And about one-fourth of schools within the Clark County School District make the cut.

To qualify, a school must be Title I, meaning about half of its students use the free or reduced lunch program.

The School Board unanimously voted Thursday to implement programs using the money.

More than half of the money will be used for salaries of schoolteachers and instructors providing parent training, professional development, parent-involvement activities and other forms of instruction.

Schools’ portions are decided based on the number of pupils using the lunch program — $318 per student.

That’s not the only help poor students might receive this school year.

The board is considering free dental screenings for second- through fifth-graders in schools with at least half of their students qualifying for free or reduced lunches. Local colleges would provide the service through June 2013 at no cost to students or the school district, under the proposed agreement.

The idea here is similar to the lunch program:

A healthy student is a focused student.

Contact reporter Trevon Milliard at tmilliard@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0279.

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