Crisfield: Sequestration's Impact on Millburn Schools' Budget Unknown
Districts across New Jersey await state aid figures this week with uncertainty.
Millburn Schools face the deadline to submit the 2013-2014 budget to the county next week with uncertainty as to whether $85 billion in federal "sequestration" spending cuts will be stopped by Congress before Friday.
Dr. James Crisfield, superintendent of Millburn Schools, said the district will learn its state aid figures on Thursday after Gov. Chris Christie delivers his fiscal year 2014 budget address Tuesday afternoon.
The release of the state aid figures triggers a sequence of events related to the budget process, including the Millburn Board of Education approving the proposed school budget on March 6. The budget is due to the county for review next week.
New Jersey could lose nearly $12 million in funding for primary and secondary education if Congress fails to halt the “sequestration” by Friday, according to figures released by the White House.
"There is just no word on what it will look like locally," Crisfield said. In recent budget discussions, the board has has assumed the state aid will remain the same as last year.
Without action from Congress, the sequester would go into effect automatically on March 1, reducing spending by the state in a number of areas, including education, the environment, health, military and law enforcement, the White House said.
Crisfield explained once the announcement is made, the state will decide how it will impact New Jersey's school districts.
The cuts, according to the Obama administration, could jeopardize 160 teacher and aide jobs in New Jersey, as well as cut funding to 60 schools and 15,000 students.
Funding would be cut to the early childhood education program Head Start, vaccination programs for children and health services for seniors, among other things, and thousands of civilian Department of Defense employees could be furloughed, according to the White House.
The total federal spending cuts under the sequester add up to about $1.2 trillion over the next nine years.
Republicans have accused the president of using the impending cuts for political gain.
President Barack Obama's plan asks for increased tax revenues to offset some of the trillion-dollar cuts.