HOW FEDERAL SEQUESTRATION CUTS
WOULD IMPACT SEATTLE PUBLIC SCHOOLS
Under a current federal proposal, major cuts called "sequestration" are automatically scheduled for March 1. The current plan slashes education services, including cutting Head Start by $406 million, cutting special education by $840 million and laying off up to 40,000 teachers and other school employees nationwide. The White House on Sunday issued a state-by-state analysis on the proposed cuts.
For Education funding in Washington state:
- Title I funds would be eliminated for more than 2,700 schools, cutting support for nearly 1.2 million disadvantaged students.
- At SPS, we would incur a 14.7 percent reduction in Title 1 funds, or about $1.6 million, equating to about 20 teachers.
- Cuts to Special Education (IDEA) would eliminate federal support for more than 7,200 Washington state teachers, aides and other staff to preschool and school-aged students with disabilities.
- At SPS, we would face 8.8 percent reduction in Special Education, or about $1 million, equating to about 12 teachers.
- Head Start services would be eliminated for about 70,000 children, with an anticipated layoff of more than 14,000 teachers, assistants and other staff state-wide.
- At SPS, this would be an 8.8 percent reduction in Head Start services, equating to about four teachers.
The bottom line: If sequestration occurs, Seattle Public Schools could face a loss of up to $3 million annually, and that would be on top of an estimated $18 million state budget shortfall we are already facing, for a total of $21 million in lost funds.
These $3 million in federal cuts will be devastating as we will not be able to address the specific needs of our most at-risk students.
We have an obligation to serve our special education students, so we would have to cover that shortfall with local resources. Overall, this will mean reduced services District-wide.
If you have concerns or questions about how sequestration will affect public schools, you can contact your U.S. Senators and Representatives.