YUMA – (KSWT News 13) - Deep budget cuts, known as sequestration, went into effect on March 1st. On the chopping block, federal funding to public schools.
"In our district, we're looking at a cut of $550,000," says Toni Badone, Superintendent of the Yuma Union High School District.
Badone says the money is needed and used for a number of school district programs.
"Summer school, tutoring after school, all kinds of programs that help students and support students in the school day and outside of the school day," explains Badone.
Not affected, teachers' jobs, classroom sizes and staple activities, like the arts and athletics.
Badone says the students who will feel the funding cuts deepest are those who most need it.
"The students who are going to feel the pinch are students who are the least advantaged. The students who move around, the students in poverty, the students with disabilities, those are the students that will not get the support they've had in the past. Our special needs students are the ones I worry about the most," say Badone.
Also at risk is professional development funding, the financial resources used to train teachers and administrators to properly identify and provide special students' needs.
For now, in the relative security of this year's school budget, Badone is looking to Washington lawmakers for a fiscal resolution.
She's preparing for the worst, but hoping for the best.
"We still hope, really hope, perhaps sequestration will be resolved and we really don't know exactly what those cuts will look like. It takes some time to plan for a cut of 550-thousand dollars," says Badone.
She adds it's not yet clear if the budget cuts will take effect in July or October, because the fiscal years of the school district and the federal government are different.
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