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GCPS Superintendent: Gwinnett to Lose $3.4M in 'Sequester' Budget Cuts

The White House has released a state-by-state breakdown of what the budget cuts could mean. In Gwinnett County, school district officials say it means losing critical dollars for Title I programs.

Gwinnett County Public Schools officials have released a statement regarding the impending across-the-board federal budget cuts, known as sequestration.

In the statement, GCPS Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks, said the cuts would cost the state's largest school district approximately $3.4 million, Title I monies, and allocations for special education. (Read the full statement below.)

Earlier this month, board members Carole Boyce and Mary Kay Murphy traveled to Washington, D.C., to fight the budget cuts. And, now the White House has released a breakdown showing that teacher jobs and funding to education children with disabilities will be hampered.

The cuts are slated to take effect Friday, March 1.

In Georgia, according to the White House, that would mean the state loses approximately $28.6 million in funding for primary and secondary education, putting around 390 teacher and aide jobs at risk.

In addition about 54,000 fewer students would be served and approximately 80 fewer schools would receive funding. In addition, Georgia will lose approximately $17.5 million in funds for about 210 teachers, aides, and staff who help children with disabilities.

J. Alvin Wilbanks' Statement on Sequestration:

"Sequestration would have an impact on Gwinnett County Public Schools as we
anticipate it would result in an approximate $3.4 million loss to the
district.

The two largest cuts would be seen in our Title I grant - approximately $1.7 million and our IDEA Section 611 special education grant -- approximately $1.3 million. The district does not anticipate an immediate issue with services as a result of the loss of Title I funds as we will be able to reserve funds from this year to carry into next year.

The funds from the IDEA Section 611 grant are primarily used to pay salaries for our special education paraprofessionals. If these federal dollars are lost, the district would look to fund these positions out of our local budget. The use of local funds to offset or cover costs of programs affected by sequestration provides additional challenges to school district budgets that already are stretched thin."

See other Gwinnett County school stories:

  • Photo Gallery: Meadowcreek Elementary Gets a Siemens Science Day
  • Eat Pizza and Donate to Norcross Relay for Life
  • Holocaust Survivor Visits Beaver Ridge Elementary

Have Gwinnett County school news or a story idea you want to share? Contact Local Editor Joy L. Woodson at Joy.Woodson@patch.com or 404-539-9256.

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