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Streetsboro School Board urges Congress to avoid 'drastic' cuts to education

by Mike Lesko | reporter Published: December 17, 2012 8:34 PM
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by Mike Lesko / Reporter

Streetsboro -- The Streetsboro Board of Education is urging Congress and the federal administration to avoid drastic cuts to education "to protect education as an investment critical to economic stability and American competitiveness," said School Board President Kevin Grimm.

The Board of Education unanimously approved a resolution Dec. 13 at Henry Defer Intermediate School asking Congress to amend its Budget Control Act of 2011 by reducing its impact on education.

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 Jan. 2, Grimm said.

Grimm said those budget cuts would impact school districts during the 2013-14 school year with the exception of the Impact Aid program, in which budget cuts would become effective this school year.

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These across-the-board cuts 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 layoffs.

"Sequestration would impact almost every public school system in the nation and millions of students educated through programs such as Title I grants for disadvantaged students; the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act; English Language Acquisition; Career and Technical Education; and 21st Century Community Learning Centers," said Grimm.

School Board member Denise Baba said a copy of the Streetsboro resolution would be sent to the National School Boards Association so it can be added to "a long list" of similar resolutions approved by school boards across the country.

The across-the-board cuts are also known as sequestration, Grimm said.

"You never hear about the impact of sequestration," Baba said. "Education gets short-changed on the national forum."

Grimm said if the Budget Control Act is not changed, "It would be devastating to Streetsboro."

Baba agreed, saying, "National and state school boards have lobbied for [Congress] to fund programs appropriately," which she said is not being done now.

According to the resolution that Grimm read at the Dec. 13 meeting, "A world class public education is essential for the future success of our nation and today's school children. Grimm said public schools nationwide would experience an estimated $2.7 billion loss from just three programs alone -- Title I grants, IDEA special education state grants and Head Start -- that serve 30.7 million children.

Grimm said federal funding for programs in kindergarten through 12th-grade 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.

"State and local governments have very limited capacity to absorb further budget cuts from sequestration," Grimm said.

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