22 Aug 2014
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Sequestration Could Mean $300K Loss for Bloomingdale Schools

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

Sequestration Could Mean $300K Loss for Bloomingdale Schools

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.

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