What effect does the Fiscal Cliff have on public schools? - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

What effect does the Fiscal Cliff have on public schools?

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PALMYRA, Mo. (WGEM) -

As the fiscal cliff deadline comes closer, education could take a hit with funding.  State educators fear if federal cuts take affect in the new year, Missouri public schools and early childhood programs could lose 125-million dollars. 

The Palmyra School District is expecting an eight percent reduction in federal funding in the next school year if federal cuts take place.  Superintendent Eric Churchwell says he's expecting the school district to lose about $20,000.  But, the district is already preparing for the lack of federal funding.   Missouri schools, like Palmyra have been dealing with a lack of federal funding for years. 

"We've taken a hit federally in our funds for the past 4 or 5 years in a row, so it seems like each year we get a little less and less," said Palmyra Superintendent Eric Churchwell.   

He said the school is already taking measures to balance its budget when the cuts are to take place.  

"Well we looked down at this past budget year and the rumor was out there, there was a possibility they might be sequestering some funds, so we actually decreased our federal revenue in special education and Title One this current year."

John Wood Community College economics professor Josh Welker said any federal spending cuts would have a direct impact on all of the Tri-States.  

"What they have right now is a broad decrease across many government programs, so federal grants would be part of that," Welker said. 

Many John Wood Community College students depend on federal aid to help fund their education.  For example, if the Community College sees federal funding cut by eight percent, it would result in more than $36,000 decrease.  

"If those dollars are cut back, you know it will probably affect a number of students in those programs," said John Wood Community College President Dr. John Letts.  

That 8 percent reduction in Missouri Schools isn't a guarantee.  It's an estimate by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.  It's urging all Missouri schools to have a plan in place in case an agreement on the fiscal cliff cannot be reached.  


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