Sequestration and Education | VideoKristin Clouston | 2/28/2013
Most of the Government cuts to federal programs wouldn`t take effect until July, so most of our schools won`t be affected this school year. But two programs would have cuts immediatly and affect our most vulnerable students.
"Those are our Head Start programs and our schools that receive impact aid. Schools that receive Impact Aid in North Dakota are reservation schools and our two districts that have Air Force bases on them," said Superintendent of Public Instruction Kirsten Baesler.
Each Head Start program in the state will be affected individually, and coordinators say right now, they`re just crossing their fingers and waiting.
"Once we do get some specific information about how we`ll be impacted, if we`ll be impacted, then we`ll have to look at our budgets and determine next steps," said BECEP Head Start Coordinator Laurel Nybo.
If the funding is cut, there is still a chance for things to turn around at the end of the month.
"There is an opportunity I think, the first opportunity to correct or modify these across the board cuts will be on March 27th when they meet again," Baesler said.
As for the rest of the schools, Baesler says they`re going to have to figure out which teachers stay and who they can`t afford to keep.
"I think if the sequestration holds firm and the budget cuts go through for next year, there most likely will be larger class sizes, fewer teachers and ultimately most certainly fewer tutors for these most needy children."
The estimated five percent funding cuts would cost North Dakota more than seven million dollars in federal funding and Title 1, special education and Impact Aid programs would get hit the hardest.
One thing that won`t be affected for now is the school lunch and breakfast program. Children will still receive meals for the remainder of the school year.