Sequester Threatens Albemarle School Programs - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Sequester Threatens Albemarle School Programs

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If lawmakers are going to strike a "grand bargain" to avoid $85 billion in dramatic federal spending cuts, this is the last chance.

If congressional leaders do not find a deal, those cuts will go into effect in a matter of hours, and it could hit home more than you might think.

We've heard about job losses in Virginia's defense industry, and massive economic losses for the state. But on a much smaller scale, the cuts could mean massive reductions in public education funding, right down to your student.

Albemarle County Public Schools are already facing a $1.4 million budget deficit for the coming school year. If these cuts occur, Assistant Superintendent Billy Haun says the division will also lose millions of dollars in federal subsidies for school lunches.

On top of that, it will lose millions for legally mandated special education programs, and optional initiatives for disadvantaged students.

"But it isn't optional for kids to learn. I mean you can't make that, 'are we teaching kids?' You can't make teaching kids optional," Haun said.

Haun says the school division has no plans to cut vital programs, but it will have challenges ahead. The system could have to pull funding from other areas to fill those gaps, and that will likely require additional budget support from the Board of Supervisors.

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