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Federal money will protect teachers jobs

Federal lawmakers recently passed a $26.1 billion "emergency jobs bill" that includes $10 billion for rehiring laid-off teachers and retaining teachers at risk of being laid off.

The Rochester school district says it won't know how the money will affect staffing here until Minnesota applies for the federal funding. The district faces $5 million in budget cuts in the 2011-2012 school year.

"Until Minnesota puts together its plan, we don't know how they intend to use (the federal money) and how it would be allocated to Rochester. At least, I've not seen anything," said Larry Smith, the district's financial director.

Last year's state stabilization funding from the federal government was used by Minnesota to offset a reduction in state aid to school districts, Smith said.

"So, basically, the dollars we got this last time around, except for some Title 9 and special education dollars that were specifically restricted for those programs, was used to maintain positions we already had," Smith said.

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