SC School board frustrated with potential sequestration - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

SC School board frustrated with sequestration's potential budget impact

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Sioux City school board members go over potential effects of federal sequestration. Sioux City school board members go over potential effects of federal sequestration.
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KTIV) -

Sequestration is the buzz word in Washington. It means $83 billion in cuts to federal programs if Congress can't come up with a compromise by Friday.

But, the consequences could mean cuts for local schools.

Monday night, the Sioux City Community School Board started its budgeting process. Members said sequestration could cut federal funds to the district. And, the ripple effect could force the board to cut teachers.

"Worst case scenario would be level funding from the state which would be zero percent allowable growth and 15 percent sequestration rate which would cost us a million dollars in federal funds," Gordon Winterlin, Sioux City Community Schools Chief Financial Officer.

Under the "worst case scenario," which includes the effects of sequestration, up to 15 positions in the Title 1 program, which tries to improve academic achievement for the disadvantaged would be cut. Up to 11 teaching positions in the Iowa Early Intervention Program, and 5 teachers aides in special education could also be cut.

On the other hand, Winterlin said the district could deal with a different outcome.

"Best case scenario would be 4 percent allowable growth, which would be a 4 percent increase in our state funding, plus no sequestration," Winterlin said.

Allowable growth is the amount of growth allowed in a school district's budget-- in a single year to account for increases in operational costs. Winterlin said the district has had to deal with several huge budget cuts in the last couple of years, and is optimistic those cuts will not be as drastic this next year. The school district hopes to finalize its budget by March 25th.

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