Baker gives back

Published 9:47 am Monday, September 17, 2007

By By Adrienne McKenzie
State Representative Alan Baker made his rounds to Atmore schools Wednesday morning giving monetary donations to gracious principals.
Each school including Rachel Patterson Elementary School, A.C. Moore Elementary School, Escambia County Middle School and Escambia County High School were presented a monetary donation from Baker.
Baker said the money is a part of the Legislative Community Service Grant allocation.
"It's community service grant money that is to be used for public education," Baker said. "It can be used in any of the public schools or public libraries. Some of the money went to Turtle Point."
Baker said when he wrote the Legislative Community Service Grant, he left the range of purpose for the money broad.
"I wrote the grant so that it can be used for instructional enhancement including technology," Baker said. "The schools can use it for a trip. It doesn't mean it has to be used for fiscal things like maps or books. It was written to allow a wide range of how a principal would determine they would use it. That's how the monies can be used."
According to Code Section 41-24-3, community service grants which are subject for audit can be used many ways.
"Alabama community service grants shall be made only for the following purposes," Code Section 41-24-3 states. "To enhance the education of the citizenry through activities, expenditures for capital improvements or equipment that promote literacy, learning, arts appreciation, public health and mental health. To promote activities that provide human and social services, which reduce the hardships of old age, poor health or poverty. To promote the marketability, yield or quality of Alabama-produced agricultural commodities. To promote the preservation, restoration, development and propagation of Alabama's natural resources, recreational facilities, environment, history, culture, transportation lanes, tourism, public safety, historic landmarks and buildings."
Baker said each school was given a specific amount of money based on whether it was an elementary school, middle school or high school.
"I was trying to be equitable based on the size of the school," Baker said.
Baker said he is attempting to provide the community with as many resources as possible.
"My objective is to be able to tap into as many of the resources that are available to the state and return them back to the district and especially Escambia County," Baker said.

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