How Sequestration Could Impact Marple Newtown Schools
School districts across Pennsylvania, including Marple Newtown, await state aid figures this week with uncertainty.
NEWTOWN SQUARE–The White House released on Sunday night data of what the budget cuts to funding will mean for each state, including school districts across the nation. In the Marple Newtown School District, Superintendent Merle Horowitz says it means losing critical dollars for Title I programs.
Unless Congress acts by March 1st, a sequence of automatic cuts—called the sequester—will take effect that will threaten federal funding to many public schools. Nearly $3 billion in cuts to education is expected in the sequestration.
Horowitz shared her preliminary thoughts on the impacts to the district, should Congress pass it.
"If that is the case, it would reduce our Title 1 allocation, which impacts reading intervention for elementary youngsters," responded Horowitz in an email.
In addition, Horowitz said if federal dollars for students with disabilities are also cut, which has been noted in the sequestration, "it would reduce our supplemental supports for special needs students."
Pennsylvania will lose approximately $26.4 million in funding for primary and secondary education, putting around 360 teacher and aide jobs at risk, according to figures released by the White House. In addition, about 29,000 fewer students would be served and approximately 90 fewer schools would receive funding.
In regards to educating children with disabilities, Pennsylvania will lose approximately $21.4 million in funds for about 260 teachers, aides, and staff who help children with disabilities, according to the White House.
According to the National Education Association, the state will see $21,808 funding cuts in special education grants, which affects 13,410 students and a potential 241 job losses.
In the 2013-14 preliminary budget, Marple Newtown School District had anticipated $545,000 in state funding for assistance in education for children with disabilities.
Without action from Congress, the sequester would go into effect automatically on March 1, reducing spending by the state in a number of other areas, including education, the environment, health, military and law enforcement, the White House said.
Although the the deficit has already been reduced by $2.5 trillion, the Obama Administration plans to reduce the deficit by $4 trillion in total. President Barack Obama's plan asks for increased tax revenues to offset some of the trillion-dollar cuts. For details on the President’s plan, click here.