December 20, 2012

Scotland County R-I School Board Urges Congress to Stop Harmful Budget Cuts

Federal education programs face more than an eight percent budget cut next year unless Congress intervenes; and, the Scotland County school board has adopted a resolution urging Congress to stop these across-the-board cuts that would have a detrimental impact upon the school district.

The across-the-board cuts to federal education programs that benefit the Scotland County R-I school district would occur under a process called sequestration (defined as the cancellation of budgetary resources) that was enacted under the Budget Control Act of 2011. For the Scotland County R-I School District, a budget cut of 8.2 percent in federal funding would mean larger class sizes, fewer course offerings, less access to intervention programs, summer school and after school programs, less extracurricular activities, and teacher/staff lay-offs.

Nationwide, sequestration would cut education funding by more than $4 billion, and would affect the Scotland County R-I School District's budget by more than $41,000 at a time when states and local governments have very limited capacity to absorb further budget cuts.

The resolution adopted urges Congress and the Administration to amend the Budget Control Act to mitigate the drastic cuts to education that would affect our students and communities, and to protect education as an investment critical to economic stability and American competitiveness.

Currently, bipartisan negotiations are underway in Congress to develop an alternative to sequestration. The Scotland County R-I School Board's resolution indicates the community's awareness of this critical issue and is being forwarded to members of Congress to urge their support to avert the sequester.



RESOLUTION REGARDING SEQUESTRATION

WHEREAS, a world class public education is essential for the future success of our nation and today's schoolchildren; and

WHEREAS, the Budget Control Act of 2011 includes a provision to impose $1.2 trillion in across-the-board budget cuts to almost all federal programs, including education, that would become effective January 2, 2013; and

WHEREAS, these across-the-board budget cuts would impact school districts during the 2013-14 school year, with the exception of the Impact Aid program, with which a reduction would become effective this school year; and

WHEREAS, these across-the-board budget cuts, also known as sequestration, would impact education by a reduction in funds of 8.2 percent or more and could result in larger class sizes, fewer course offerings, possible four-day school weeks, loss of extracurricular activities, and teacher and staff lay-offs; and

WHEREAS, sequestration would impact almost every public school system in the nation and the millions of students educated through programs such as Title I grants for disadvantaged students, the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), English Language Acquisition, Career and Technical Education, 21st Century Community Learning Centers, and more; and

WHEREAS, Scotland County R-1 School District, as well as other public schools, would be impacted nationwide by an estimated $2.7 billion loss from just three programs alone - Title I grants, IDEA special education state grants and Head Start - that serve a combined 30.7 million children; and

WHEREAS, federal funding for K-12 programs was already reduced by more than $835 million in Fiscal Year 2011, and state and local funding for education continues to be impacted by budget cuts and lower local property tax revenues; and

WHEREAS, states and local governments have very limited capacity to absorb further budget cuts from sequestration, as Scotland County R-1 School District has already implemented cuts commensurate to state and local budget conditions;

NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Scotland County R-1 School District urges Congress and the Administration to amend the Budget Control Act to mitigate the drastic cuts to education that would affect our students and communities, and to protect education as an investment critical to economic stability and American competitiveness.

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