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Lee’s Summit R-7 Board Of Education Urges Congress To Stop Harmful Budget Cuts
December 22, 2012
The Lee’s Summit R-7 Board of Education
approved a resolution urging the United States
Congress and administration to amend the
National Budget Control Act to mitigate impending drastic cuts to education.
Local Board of Education members urged Congress to stop these across-the-board cuts that would have a detrimental impact on local schools. The decision came during the Board’s regular Dec. 20 meeting.
The resolution urges Congress and the administration to amend the Budget Control Act to mitigate the severe cuts to education that would affect students and communities.
The Lee’s Summit R-7 resolution also focuses on protecting education as an investment critical to economic stability and American competitiveness.
Federal education programs face more than an 8-percent budget cut in 2013 unless Congress intervenes.
The across-the-board cuts to federal education programs that benefit the Lee’s Summit R-7 School District would occur under sequestration (defined as the cancellation of budgetary resources) that was enacted under the Budget Control Act of 2011.
From 2008-09 through 2012-13, the R-7 School District enacted cost containment totaling approximately $70 million.
These cost-containment measures included reductions in staff members, a one-year district-wide salary freeze, reductions in elementary and secondary summer school programs, a teaching schedule change requiring high-school and middle-school instructors to teach an additional course each day, elimination of periodic teacher collaboration at elementary schools, deferring of textbook purchases, ongoing reductions to school and department budgets, deferring of maintenance and implementation of an activity fee for sports, music and other activities for middle and high schools.
Nationwide, sequestration would cut education funding by more than $4 billion at a time when states, local governments and taxpayers have very limited capacity to absorb further budget cuts. United States schools would lose an estimated $2.7 billion from just the following three federal programs: Title I grants, IDEA special education state grants and Head Start, which serve a combined 30.7 million children.
“Given the budget cuts and adjustments our local schools have made in recent years, there is simply very little, if anything else, left to cut,” said Dr. David McGehee, R-7 superintendent. “Any further cuts in education funding could adversely affect the quality of our education programs.”
Currently, bipartisan negotiations are underway in Congress to develop an alternative to sequestration.
The Lee’s Summit R-7 Board of Education’s resolution indicates the community’s awareness of this critical issue and is being forwarded to members of Congress to urge their support to avert the sequester.
The Lee’s Summit R-7 Board of Education is one of numerous school boards across the nation adopting similar resolutions.
Nick “Pumpkin Head” Smith