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Miss. Education Would Lose Millions Under Sequestration

By Daniel Cherry | Published 25 Feb 2013 06:36pm | comments
Mississippi stands to lose out on millions of dollars in education funding if lawmakers allow the sequestration budget cuts to take effect. MPB's Daniel Cherry reports...
 
Mississippi primary and secondary education would lose about five and a half million dollars if the sequestration budget cuts are allowed to happen. That's according to a report issued by the White House. Dr. Lynn House, Interim Superintendent for the Mississippi Department of Education, says students will eventually feel the effects of the cuts.
 
"Well bottom line, teachers who are providing services will be lost. While we still have some students that will get services, when you start reducing the number of teachers available, the number of resources available, you're going to impact those students."
 
The report indicates about 80 teachers' jobs would be at risk. Small school districts might feel budget cuts the worst. William Crockett is Superintendent of Mound Bayou Schools. They serve a little less than 600 students, and Crockett says any cuts have the possibility of hurting the district.
 
"We have very little tax base as it is, and the Mississippi legislature isn't really fully funding the education system that we have in place. So we depend on the federal government for supplemental kinds of things."
 
On top of the five million plus cuts to K-12 education, Mississippi would lose more than 6 million in education funding for children with disabilities. Mary Troupe is Director of the Mississippi Coalition for Citizens with Disabilities, and she's concerned, with less resources, fewer disabled children will be able to get ahead.
 
"This has just got to stop. We've got to start thinking about our vulnerable populations and how we can help them to become productive citizens and live productive lives within out states and within our nation."
 
Lawmakers in Washington have until Friday to work out a deal on the budget. If not, 85 billion dollars in automatic spending cuts go into effect across the board.

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