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Texoma Schools Could Lose Money if Impact Aid is Cut

If Congress can't come to an agreement to cut the federal deficit by the end of the year, not only could it mean higher taxes for all Americans, but it could also mean billions of dollars in cuts of federal funds, including in education.
    Military budget cuts could end up hitting school districts in military communities very hard.
    Those districts are reimbursed by the federal government for the costs of educating students in military families.
    Those cuts would hit each school or district in different ways, but it's estimated military school districts across the nation would lose more than $100-million if a federal program called Impact Aid is reduced.
    If Congress can't come to an agreement on reducing the federal deficit, next year automatic cuts called sequestration, estimated to be $1.2 trillion, will go into effect.
    Christy Nash, WFISD assistant director of state and federal programming, says, "It would be a significant impact."
    Sequestration would reduce Impact Aid funds, which help school districts on or near military installations, since those in the military don't have to pay local taxes when living on federal facilities.
    "We've heard 10 percent, we've heard up to possibly 20 percent," Nash says.
    Economists estimate cuts would total $100-million.
    Texoma school districts that would be affected include Altus, Lawton, Burkburnett, and Wichita Falls ISD's.
    "It is a major source of funding for our district," Nash says.  "We do receive federal funds for title one.  We also receive special education funds, career and technology funds, Headstart funds, communities and schools, the 21st century after school program.  Those are all federal funds that could be affected by that."
    Information compiled by the Center for American Progress states the Lawton School District would lose half-a-million dollars of funding.
    It's estimated Anadarko Public Schools would lose $164-thousand of funding per year.
    The figures for WFISD and Burk ISD weren't available.
    Nash says she and other WFISD officials remain hopeful that Congress will work out a plan to reduce the deficit before automatic cuts go into effect so the impact on school districts with military students won't be so drastic.
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