Sequestration Could Impact Local Schools Budget
Districts across New Jersey await state aid figures this week with uncertainty.
The Bloomfield School District faces the deadline to submit the 2013-2014 budget to the county next week with uncertainty as to whether $85 billion in federal "sequestration" spending cuts will be stopped by Congress before Friday.
The release of the state aid figures triggers a sequence of events related to the budget process, Heinegg said, including the Board of Education approving the proposed school budget on March 5. The budget is due to the county for review next week.
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.
When Gov. Chris Christie authorized giving New Jersey schools $850 million in new aid under the state’s 2012 budget, Bloomfield used the extra $790,429 state aid it received for tax relief in this year’s budget.
Last year, Bing and other school district administrators said they planned on holding onto the money and spending it this year in place of the $709,000 one-time federal aid the district received under President Barack Obama's American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
Bing did not respond to requests for comments for this story but did mention it as a factor in the budget discussion held at the Feb. 26 school board meeting.
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.