Wicomico Co, MD School Districts Prepare For Possible Sequester - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

Wicomico Co, MD School Districts Prepare For Possible Sequester

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SALISBURY, Md. - As Congress battles the clock to reach a deal on the sequester, Maryland school districts, like Wicomico County plan for the worst.

"There will be people that have reductions and hours and supplies that are cut," said Dr. John Fredericksen.

Dr. Fredericksen, Wicomico Co. Schools superintendent, is looking at a nearly 6 percent reduction, or $469,667.79 cut in the following programs: math and reading support; teacher effectiveness training; English for Speakers of Other Languages; special education; and career/tech.

"Without the money, the kid's aren't gonna be able to get programs," said Jennifer Bailey, a pre-school teacher and mother. "They're not going to [be able to] use the best equipment."

Jan Gile, who has a son in high school in Wicomico County says that she's "appalled, because I think the future education of our children is important. That right shouldn't be taken away from the kids."

If a deal isn't reached soon, Wicomico County schools may feel an effect within about two weeks.

"I feel horrible," said Dr. Fredericksen. "It's the kind of thing where you [say] 'ok we've got it all planned out we told the kids we're going to do this, we told the families we're going to do that and now we're going to have to back away from those promises we made.

Additional programs that may be cut include after school activities, which Dr. Fredericksen says is a concern.

Several other Maryland school districts sent over statements on the potential cuts.

Dorchester County Schools sent to WMDT that "last fall, when this issue was addressed by the Maryland State Department of Education regarding the December 31, 2012, "fiscal cliff," we were advised that the amount of the loss of federal funds could range from 7 to 9 percent of the federal funds that our school system receives.

"Our budget for total direct federal funds is approximately $4 million per year. This means that we could have our funding reduced by $280,000 to $360,000. We were also advised that these reductions would not affect Maryland school systems until the new federal fiscal year that begins October 1, 2013. 

"At this time we are not aware of any immediate impacts on our school system."

Also, Somerset County Public Schools Superintendent  Dr. Marjorie E. Miles says that if a budget sequestration is not averted, "it will trickle down to the locals (school system) and impact on staffing and programs."

To see what the White House says about cuts in Maryland, click here.

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