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Sequestration Could Impact Montville Schools Funding

Districts across New Jersey await state aid figures this week with uncertainty.

Montville Township Public Schools could see funding for federal grant initiatives affected if Congress does not stop $85 billion in sequestration cuts by Friday.

"There's no way to really know [the impact] until it hits," Montville Township Public Schools Business Administrator Jim Tevis said.

Tevis projected that if the cuts are imposed, they could mean a reduction in federal grants and the money Montville receives for the No Child Left Behind initiative and an Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) grant, which assists with special education costs.

"We use it predominantly to pay for out of school placements," Tevis said of the IDEA grant.

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. 

Districts across New Jersey are expected to learn state aid figures this week after Gov. Chris Christie delivers his fiscal year 2014 budget address Tuesday afternoon. The release of the state aid figures triggers a sequence of events related to the budget process.

But Tevis said the cuts should not drastically affect the budget process already in place in Montville as he typically prepares for the possibility of a reduction in state aid.

"I've already factored in some kind of a reduction. I do every year for us, it's a total unknown for us," he said.

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.

Maxim Sapozhnikov February 26, 2013 at 01:26 PM
I imagine what kind of disaster we'll be threatened with if they stop stealing from our children and actually try to balance the federal budget. You know, like we all have to do with our family budgets every year. Quelle horreure!
Craig Chapman February 27, 2013 at 12:55 PM
Let's slash not cut spending. Sequestration is a joke ( see link ) lets start by ending the Department of Education. Billions go in and not one child do they educate. I went through 12 years of compulsory schooling before the department came into being and have done just fine, as will all American kids after it is gone! http://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/fairy-tale-spending-cuts
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