Feb 26, 2013 11:28 PM by Rebecca Taylor

Tucson-area schools bracing for budget cuts ahead of Federal sequester

TUCSON - The across the board spending cuts that could go into effect Friday will affect all of us. Especially if you have a child in school or are a teacher.

Many schools in Tucson get substantial amounts of money for Title One and the school lunch program.

The U.S. Secretary of Education had a national conference call with educators Tuesday about potential cuts.

What local educators are expecting?

The Flowing Wells district is anticipating a five percent cut. That's about $200 thousand, money that pays teacher salaries and funds programs like special education.

Dr. Nic Clement says there are a number of details that need clarification.

A big question that's still looming is when will the cuts happen?

"Is this going to take place beginning July 1, 2013 or is it retro to this year, when they received their federal dollars," asks Clement.

Questions like this were addressed in a national conference call with the Secretary of Education.

At stake for Arizona schools is $17 million in funding, 240 teaching jobs are at risk, with 19 thousand students, and 70 fewer schools being served.

In addition special education would be impacted. With $10 million in cuts including 120 teachers.

"We longer have counselors in elementary schools, we've cut back in library services. We've increased class sizes, this just compounds it," says Clement.

Clement says right now there's not enough specific information to make any firm decisions on how to deal with a $200 thousand cut.


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