Sequester Could Have Mixed Impact On Rockwood Schools
District administrators are forecasting financial hits on programs from child nutrition to special education.
West St. Louis Country area school districts are crunching the numbers and trying to determine what mandated federal budget cuts would mean if they go into effect starting Friday as part of the so-called "sequestration process."
The White House released a state-by-state projection saying "Missouri will lose about $11.9 million in funding for primary and secondary education, putting around 160 teacher and aide jobs at risk. In addition, about 17,000 fewer students would be served and about 60 fewer schools would receive funding."
The Rockwood School District is working on the assumption that there would be a 5 percent cut in federal funding, approximately $387,809 that would come from programs like Child Nutrition, ROTC, Early Childhood Education, Adult Education and Drug Free programs. It also includes a percentage of federal stimulus funds used to help pay down bond debts.
The Special School District, which serves students with special needs from nearly every district in St. Louis County, would see cuts to funding from the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act or IDEA. According to administrators there, that translates to a 5 percent cut of $1.6 million efective July 1. If the cuts were to be upheld moving forward, it would grow to an 8 percent reduction in future years. A spokeswoman for the district said it was too soon to tell if the cuts would lead to cuts in staff and programs.
The Parkway School district's overall budget sees 3.2 percent come from federal funding sources. Chief Financial Officer Mark Stockwell is operating on the assumption that the district will take a hit of between $150,000-$200,000, in the context of a $200 million budget. "This isn't something I'm panicking over," as far as impacting district jobs or programs next year, Stockwell said, although if those cuts continue into future years it could be different. He was also mindful that cuts to the Special School District could eventually be felt elsewhere because the SSD puts special education staff in schools throughout St. Louis County.