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Schools brace for a fall from ‘fiscal cliff’

Schools brace for a fall from ‘fiscal cliff’
News Editor
The Weakley County School system is bracing for the possibility of losing 10 percent of its budget if national lawmakers fail to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff crisis.
“This would not be good,” Director of Schools Randy Frazier said Thursday during the school board’s monthly meeting at Sharon School.
“I want to brace everyone just in case,” Frazier said. “We all know what’s happening in Washington. If there’s not some kind of agreement, we’re looking at some major cuts that would impact our school system.”
Impacted programs would include Title I, Title XI, Race to the Top money, Special Ed IDEA, Special Ed preschool money, CTE Carl Perkins money and Dresden Elementary’s FOCUS grant.
“If this were to go into effect, it would happen in January. What it basically means is that we would lose dollars that we’ve already budgeted,” he said.
In the current budget, the school system has about $3 million in federal dollars, Frazier said.
“We’re hearing, worst case scenario, a 10 percent cut. We’re looking at about $290,000 of cuts the second half of the school year.
“Last year we were in the same situation and they made those cuts, and a few weeks later they gave us the money back.”
Frazier said a loss of those funds could result in staff layoffs.
“It’s really not fair to take money away that we’ve already budgeted. This would not be good.”
In other actions from the meeting:
• The board approved putting the old Smith Chapel School property, a four-acre plot, up for sale.
• The board approved moving forward with possible plans to upgrade its fuel pump station. Frazier said he would gather more information and report back to the board.
Published in The WCP 12.11.12