U.S. Education Department Says Sequestration Cuts Could Cost Hamilton County Schools $1.7 Million

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The U.S. Education Department said federal cuts under sequestration due to go into effect Friday would bring a mandatory five-percent reduction in Title I funds and cost the Hamilton County Schools District $1,778,127 in fiscal year 2013.

That represents an 11.2-percent reduction from the $15.8 million in estimated Title I grants, in a district with a 2011 poverty rate of 26.6 percent, officials said.

“Our communities and their schools are just starting` to pull out of the recession - and instead of cutting education further we should be investing,” said Education Secretary Arne Duncan. “Americans, especially educators and parents of school children, need to let their elected representatives know this is the wrong choice, and urge them to figure out a solution to avoid this.”

Statewide in Tennessee, the five percent reduction in federal Title I funds required under sequestration would cost the state an estimated $515 million. These cuts could lead to the loss of Title I services for an estimated 32,970 students in as many as 62 schools, it was stated. In addition, up to 207 teachers, teacher assistants and other staff could lose their jobs.

Officials said, "Reductions in federal Title I funding do not reflect the full impacts in cuts required in the Hamilton County School District or in Tennessee under sequestration, which would require the Department of Education to make a combined $2.5 billion in mandatory and discretionary cuts to special education, higher education, and other programs.

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