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Portage schools worried about going over the fiscal cliff

Updated: December 29, 2012 6:18AM



The federal fiscal crisis threatens Portage Township Schools with cuts of up to $4 million in 2013 if Congress fails to act by the end of this year, according to School Superintendent Ric Frataccia.

The School Board Monday night adopted a resolution urging congress to take steps to halt possible upcoming automatic budget cuts to federal education programs.

The federal Budget Control Act of 2011 calls for sequestration of funds, or automatic across-the-board budget cuts, if Congress fails to identify budget cuts or revenue increases by the end of the year – the so-called fiscal cliff.

Frataccia called the resolution, “A forward stand on the sequestration business,” and hopes that sending it to Congress will help to increase awareness of the school’s concerns.

“We’re against the sequestration. Legislators need to make a decision. Sequestration lets them not decide,” said Frataccia. “We understand there is a financial crisis, we’re just not sure sequestration is the way to solve the problem.”

The resolution claims that budget cuts could result in larger class sizes, fewer course offerings, possible four-day school weeks, fewer extracurricular activities and possible reductions in faculty and staff.

Hard hit will be the federal Title programs, including Title 1, a needs-based program that provides remedial reading and math support for students, and Title 2, which supports professional development for staff. Also hit will be special education programs.

Frataccia said that federal cuts will affect state programs which could in turn lead to additional cuts in state funding for schools.

“Given the budget cuts and adjustments our local community has made in recent years, there is simply very little, if anything else, left to cut,” said Frataccia.



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