Sequester Cuts Felt in American Classrooms

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Those automatic spending cuts, known in Washington and beyond as the "sequester," just won't go away. And unless Congress stops it from happening, the "sequester" will kick in this Friday.

Factory floors and federal buildings might see fewer employees, but classrooms will also see fewer teachers, meaning larger class sizes for students. Programs like Head Start and Title 1, funded largely by federal money, will take the biggest hit, sending budgetary shortfalls to all corners of the country.

That's forcing administrators like Don Schmidt and Martha Peek to begin thinking about what these cuts will do to their school districts. Don Schmidt is the assistant superintendent for student, family and community services at Northside Independent School District in San Antonio, Texas. Martha Peek is the superintendent of Mobile County Public Schools in Mobile, Alabama. 

Peek paints a bleak picture of the consequences on her school district: "It will impact those students who are most at-risk because it will be the federal funds that fund programs for at-risk students who are economically deprived. Also, our special education students." According to Schmidt, his district will take a hit to occupational therapists, aides, physical therapists, and more: "It’s going to be the quality, because we’re going to have fewer people spread over a much larger territory."

Peek says that the these sequestration cuts compound four years of budget reductions due to the economy that have already spread resources thin. "With the sequestration and loss of funds on top of that, it will really impact the quality that we can provide."

"It does affect us drastically. It affects down to the individual classroom," Schmidt says.

Guests:

Martha Peek and Don Schmidt

Produced by:

Tyler Adams and Joe Hernandez

Comments [2]

RAOUL ORNELAS from BEND, OREGON

This is easy. Tomorrow cut the pay in half for all the people in Congress. Eighty percent of these people are millionaires and don't need the pay or the health benefits that go along with their pay. Also if the the public is forced to have less through loss of their job, then their mortgage payments must be adjusted to reflect the budget cuts that took away their jobs. All federal workers who's expertise is comes from an law degree must be cut too. These people are a drain on the government..... they are way overpaid! Doctors must also cut their pay to reflect the economy of the times. Make corporations bank their money in America and not in the Cayman Islands. The funny thing about all this sequester business is that Franklin Delano Roosevelt made the country work in perhaps the most difficult period of America's history. So how did President Roosevelt do this, he raised taxes and created Social Security at a time when the Country was supposedly broke, plus, he did not have people like Paul Ryan promoting Ayn Rand ideas of me only or propagandist like Rush Limbaugh. The game be played now is the same old game played in 5 B.C. Athens: How to make the poor pay for the wealthy producing sins of the wealthy. America is far from being broke much to the chagrin of the Republicans the economy under President Obama is turning around without another flimflam tax break for the wealthy.

Feb. 28 2013 01:31 PM
listener

When these kids are adults they will be living in a nation in steep decline with well over $25 trillion in debt and poorer than their parents thanks to the reckless and irresponsible decisions made by this administration and a feckless media that amplifies their demagoguery.

Feb. 27 2013 09:31 AM

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