Sequester Budget Plans in Place for Local Schools
Federal aid would be impacted at local level if Congress doesn't stop $85 billion in cuts.
A Congress-allowed sequestration would impact local school budgets, but not enough to worry officials from Washington Township and West Morris Regional High School Districts.
Budget discussions have been ongoing for more than two months, according to West Morris Regional Superintendent Mackey Pendergrast, and the sequestration topic has “fallen under the umbrella” of usable figures when expenditures are analyzed.
“At this point, it is difficult to ascertain the impact it will have to New Jersey and school aid for this year and next,” Pendergrast said.
Education funding in the state could be cut by nearly $30 million along with drastic cuts to healthcare programs and environmental protection should Congress fail to halt $85 billion in sequestration spending cuts.
When preparing budgets, school boards in recent years have been advised to account for just 80-percent of the federal aid receive in the year prior, according to Washington Township Schools Business Administrator Liz George.
In doing so, it has helped prepare local districts for a shortfall in aid, she said.
“We should know much more (March 1) and we do have a Plan B, Plan C, Plan D, etc. relative to these fluctuating variables,” Pendergrast said.
State aid will be revealed to school districts no later than Thursday, Feb. 28, and both local school budgets are due to the county superintendent by March 8.