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Looming 'fiscal cliff' threatens some area education programs - KOAM TV 7

Looming 'fiscal cliff' threatens some area education programs

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Missouri National Education Association leaders are in Washington lobbying Senator Claire McCaskill to prevent potential funding cuts from the "fiscal cliff" situation.

Programs funded with federal dollars could be put in jeopardy.

In Jasper, Missouri students get one-on-one attention through a program called Reading Recovery.  The program is funded with Title I dollars, and the teacher's salary is funded through Title II-A monies.

Jasper Schools Superintendent Rick Stark says the grants add up to about $127,000 for the district, and even losing a percentage of that would be tough.

"I'm sot saying those would be positions that would be eliminated because of sequestration, what it would mean is instead of depending on some of those federal dollars -  federal grant monies - you would have to pay for a lot of that stuff locally," says Superintendent Stark.  "And whenever you already have a pretty low assessed valuation combined with state funding that's already been cut, it makes it that much more complicated situation."

"If I didn't have my job they wouldn't have that extra help that they got, the teacher would be working that much harder and maybe not spread thinner they wouldn't be moving along as fast as they could," says Janel Kellenberger, the Reading Recovery teacher.

"As most people know, reading is tied to just about any subject in school," says Superintendent Stark.  "If kids aren't at reading level in 3rd grade and you're trying to play catch up you take away some of those extra services and you're going to put kids even further behind."

Stark says the district has already cut several staff positions in the last few years because of funding cuts.

You can see the impact of the scheduled automatic budget cuts on education state by state at the National Education Association website:  http://educationvotes.nea.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/09-14-12SequestrationByState.pdf

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