Free Lance-Star reporter Amy Umble covers Stafford County schools and other education issues
Sequestration could lead to cuts in Stafford schools
Sequestration could mean some big cuts for Stafford County Public Schools.
The School Board voted Tuesday night to urge the House, the Senate and the president to avoid the automatic across-the-board cuts known as sequestration, which will take effect if a federal budget isn’t approved by March 1.
Stafford’s finance department said that sequestration would mean about $595,000 in cuts. While that isn’t a huge percentage of the total schools’ budget (Tuesday night, they also approved a budget of about $265 million for the next fiscal year), these cuts would specifically target some programs which are already struggling.
For example, Head Start would lose about $104,000 or 8 percent of its budget. This would most likely mean cutting two classes and five positions, said Kathryn Massie, director of Stafford’s Head Start. There are now about 200 preschoolers who meet the income requirements for Head Start but who are waiting for a slot to open.
Title I, a program which aims to help students from low-income households, would be cut by $115,000 or 6 percent.
IDEA special education programs would be cut by about $221,000 or 5 percent. The School Board just voted to add about 24 new special education positions to meet federal requirements.
And Impact Aid, which gives federal money to help localities meet national education requirements, would be cut by about $104,000 or 8 percent.