With across-the-board federal cuts taking effect today through sequestration, National School Boards Action Center is urging parents and members of the community to contact their congressional representatives to ensure that cuts don't impact vital school programs.
The NSBAC is encouraging Congress and President Barack Obama to develop an immediate bipartisan solution that will allow school districts to continue operating without laying off teachers and cutting programs that help students succeed.
“Congress and the Obama Administration must act now to alleviate these cuts to education before school districts have to issue pink slips and inform parents that vital programs and resources are going to be cut,” said Thomas J. Gentzel, the National School Boards Association’s executive director. “These new federal cuts to education will push back the progress our school districts have made in student achievement. School districts are going to have to make difficult choices as they develop their budgets for the next school year, and for years to come as the cuts continue.”
More than 700 school boards, including the Hillsborough County School District, have passed resolutions urging Congress to avoid the sequestration process, which will impose across-the-board cuts of about 5 percent to education and other domestic programs beginning in fiscal year 2013.
Nationwide, K-12 programs and Head Start would face almost a $3 billion reduction. K-12 education programs were already reduced on the federal level in fiscal year 2011.
Head Start, the federal program for preschool children from low-income families, would be cut by an estimated $398 million, immediately affecting services to 70,000 low-income children.
Title I federal grants for disadvantaged students would be cut by $726 million, reducing instructional support to almost 1.2 million educationally disadvantaged children and eliminating more than 10,000 teachers and aides.
And special education funding would be reduced by $579 million, shifting those costs to states and school districts.
These federal budget cuts are scheduled to continue through 2021.
The Hillsborough County School District estimates it will lose $4 million in funding for anti-poverty programs and $3.5 million for exceptional student education programs.
NSBAC is encouraging school board members along with parents, educational professionals and community members to continue to contact their members of Congress and let them know that these cuts to education are unacceptable.
Here's a list of who to contact:
- U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis--727-773-2871 or 202-225-5755
- U.S. Rep. Tom Rooney--202-225-5792 or 772-288-4668
- U.S. Rep. Dennis Ross--863-644-8215 or 202-225-1252
- U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor--202-225-3376 or 813-871-2817
- Sen. Bill Nelson--202-224-5274
- Sen. Marco Rubio--813-977-6450
NSBAC has created a video addressing the real impact of these federal budget cuts on local schools and urging Congressional action. To view the video go to: http://youtu.be/VKQrP-2U4ao