The Norton Public Schools could take a hit in March due to the sequestration currently being debated in Washington D.C. and the country at large.
Interim superintendent of schools Christopher Martes said on Monday that, if the sequester goes through, Norton would lose $120,000 in federal grant money.
“Sequestration cuts may effect three grants,” Martes said.
He said that the grants were the federal Title I grant, also known as the Education for the Disadvantaged grant, Title IIa grant, also known as the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, and the Federal Special Education grant.
The state of Massachusetts would itself see $91 million in cuts if congress fails to avoid the sequester, according to a report released by the President Sunday.
Martes said that when this hits the state and congress puts together its budget in the summer, a trickle down effect might occur.
“We’re acting on the governor’s budget to make our budget,” he said. “But we don’t know what’s going to happen when the house and senate put together their budget. That’s a going forward question that we always deal with each year. We present the budget in February and they don’t make decisions until April, May or June.”
Martes said the $120,000 is already built into the $24 million school recommended budget.
- Military: Some 7,000 civilian Department of Defense employees would be furloughed, reducing pay by around $43.4 million. Army base operation funding in the state would be cut by about $8 million, Air Force operations by about $5 million.
- Teachers and schools: Some $13.9 million in primary and secondary education funding would be cut, putting around 190 teacher and aide jobs at risk; about 20,000 fewer students would be served and some 60 fewer schools would get funding, according to the administration. Also, Massachusetts would lose some $13.4 million to pay for about 160 teachers, aides and staff who help children with disabilities.
- Protections for clean air and clean water: About $4 million in environmental funding to ensure clean water and air quality, and to prevent pollution from pesticides and hazardous waste. The Bay State could also lose another $472,000 in grants for fish and wildlife protection.
- Public health: About $625,000 in funds to respond to infectious diseases, natural disasters and biological, chemical, nuclear and radiological event threats. Also, $1.7 million for preventing and treating substance abuse, resulting in around 5,200 fewer admissions to program and about $367,000 in cuts that will lead to 9,200 fewer HIV tests.
- Job search help: About $787,000 in funding, meaning 27,000 fewer people would get help finding work, according to the administration.
- Nutrition assistance for seniors: About $535,000 for senior meal programs.
- Vaccines for children: Almost 3,000 fewer children would get measles, mumps, rubella, tetanus, whooping cough, influenza and Hepatitis B vaccinations to save about $201,000.
- STOP violence against women program: Up to $140,000 for services to victims of domestic violence, resulting in up to 500 fewer victims being served.
- Child care: Up to 500 disadvantaged and vulnerable children could lose access to child care, which is also essential for working parents to hold down a job. No estimate of funding cut size was available.
- Head Start: Services would be eliminated for about 1,100 Massachusetts children. No estimate of funding cut size was noted.