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Sequestration Could Mean $300K Loss for Bloomingdale Schools

Districts across New Jersey await state aid figures this week with uncertainty.

Bloomingdale Public Schools could see funding for federal grant initiatives affected by a roughly $300,000 loss if Congress does not stop $85 billion in sequestration cuts by Friday.

The district's Business Administrator George Hagl said Monday that if the cuts go through, Bloomingdale will lose funding for Title 1 programs, which are for at-risk children, programs for staff and principal traning and for Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) initiatives. Hagl said the biggest cut would be to the IDEA grant.

"That would be about $250,000," Hagl said.

New Jersey could lose nearly $12 million in funding for primary and secondary education if Congress fails to halt the “sequestration” by Friday, according to figures released by the White House. 

Districts across New Jersey are also expected to learn state aid figures this week after Gov. Chris Christie delivers his fiscal year 2014 budget address Tuesday afternoon. The release of the state aid figures triggers a sequence of events related to the budget process.

But Hagl said the state aid figures and possible federal cuts are unrelated. He said he could not predict what could come of the governor's state aid announcement as the figure Bloomingdale receives could change any year.

Without action from Congress, the sequester would go into effect automatically on March 1, reducing spending by the state in a number of areas, including education, the environment, health, military and law enforcement, the White House said.

The cuts, according to the Obama administration, could jeopardize 160 teacher and aide jobs in New Jersey, as well as cut funding to 60 schools and 15,000 students.

Funding would be cut to the early childhood education program Head Start, vaccination programs for children and health services for seniors, among other things, and thousands of civilian Department of Defense employees could be furloughed, according to the White House.

The total federal spending cuts under the sequester add up to about $1.2 trillion over the next nine years.

Republicans have accused the president of using the impending cuts for political gain. President Barack Obama's plan asks for increased tax revenues to offset some of the trillion-dollar cuts.

Meredith Mascitello February 26, 2013 at 03:59 PM
There is a ton of waste that can be cut before cutting programs that have some value. Why do leaders always threaten cuts from teachers, police & firemen? That’s so the public will be outraged & demand zero cuts. Cut the waste first! “The total federal spending cuts under the sequester add up to about $1.2 trillion over the next nine years.” The Federal Budget deficit for each year under President Obama has been over $1 Trillion. That’s over $4 Trillion in 4 years. Cutting $1.2 Trillion over 9 years is a small dent in our debt problem. The Progressive wing of the Democratic Party is trying to scare everyone over a cut of $85 Billion (1 month of Federal spending) but don’t see much of a problem with our $16.6 Trillion debt. Keep in mind our actual debt when we include unfunded liabilities is over $120 Trillion. We have to stop spending too much NOW if we want our children and grandchildren to have any sort of economic freedom that we have enjoyed.
Meredith Mascitello February 26, 2013 at 04:02 PM
Our BOE and town need to start finding ways to be self-sufficient so we are not so dependent on State and Federal grants. The cow has been milked dry. We are broke. There are not enough “rich people & corporations” to tax to cover our debt. I asked at a budget meeting several years ago for the BOE to do a cost analysis on the Federal grant programs. If the programs demand more of us than the dollar amount they give are they worth it? Mr. Hagl’s answer was that he wasn’t going to turn down that kind of money. Excuse me, but money from the government always comes with strings attached. Are we wasting time jumping through hoops for Federal & State grants instead of actually teaching the children reading, writing, math and history? The children of today are our leaders of tomorrow and if they don’t know the basics, we will be in serious trouble. We are already. Too many in Washington & Trenton don’t understand basic economics.

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