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Schools Prepare To Brace For Impact From Sequester Cuts
Written by Andrew Forgotch
Last updated on May 15, 2013 @ 5:54PM
Created on May 15, 2013 @ 5:22PM
Another week has passed and there's still been no across the board deal to stop those $85-billion dollars in automatic spending cuts, better known as the sequester.
Last week 5 News reported that that first responders around here have already lost a few training classes thanks to those cuts.
On Wednesday 5 News took a look at how the sequester is impacting our schools.
Dr. Larry Parsons, the Superintendent of Schools in Preston County, said it looks like folks there will start to notice those cuts starting next school year. That's because he said they're getting ready  to submit their budget for the 20-13 school year. As it stands, thanks to the sequester, they're set to loose a quarter of a million dollars in federal funding from last year.
"We're already so tight with our cuts and our limitations here on resources," Parsons said. "An additional $250-thousand has a great deal of impact. It impacts employment of staff and student services."
Parsons said what's at stake is funding for their Title I and Title II programs.
Title I helps provides individual help to kids who are behind in math and reading.
Parsons said he worries with cuts coming to programs that are meant to help kids who are struggling they could lead to bigger problems.
"What you're going to have is more children that don't progress through the school system on grade level," he said. "That will most likely move the dropout rate forward. We've increased that possibility by having more limited resources to reach out to those in the greatest need."
The Preston County School District has had money problems for quite some time, and a recent audit revealed they're still $2.2 - million in the red. Parsons mentioned this is another instance where the eight million dollar levy, which was struck down by voters last year, would've helped.
"Its like the old saying you can't continue to squeeze blood out of the turnip," he said. "You go so far in trying to provide what people want while getting less. It just doesn't work anymore."
Parsons said if lawmakers come to a deal after school officials submit their budget, they could probably move money around to stop those cuts.

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