Automatic Budget Cuts Weigh on Kentucky Schools

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The clock is ticking for congress to make a decision on a deficit reduction deal. They have until March 1 before a sequester, or automatic budget cuts, will eliminate $85 billion of federal funding from state budgets.

These cuts could have a devastating effect on many forms of federal funding over the next seven months.

"Nation-wide, hundreds of thousands of jobs would be lost," said Principal Deputy Director of the NEC Jason Furman.

But White House officials say the sequester was not intended to be a solution, but rather motivation to find a better one.

"This sequester was never intended to be policy. It was passed with republican support in congress as a trigger method, or forcing event that would compel Congress on both sides to reduce the deficit in a balanced way," said Deputy Press Secretary for the Economy Amy Brundage.

If they don't find a solution, education could take a major hit, and the annual budget for federal funding for Warren County Public Schools is no exception.

"For us that's a little over $6.5 million. So when you look at a ten percent cut on that, it's $650,000 that we'll have a reduction of revenue stream for next year," said Warren County Public Schools Finance Director Chris McIntyre.

This could mean jobs cuts.

"This will impact the amount of training and the number of people we can have trained," said Warren County Public Schools Assistant Superintendent Kathy Goff.

Teachers won't be the only ones affected. Goff says some students may pay the price.

"What you're actually doing is taking the students and the schools that are most at risk, and you are reducing the funds, but yet you're still keeping the same mandates and expectations, just with less money," said Goff.

In Kentucky, for primary and secondary education it will mean $11.8 million less.

White House officials say federal cuts won't be limited to only education. They will impact everything from military readiness to public health.

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