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Sequester Could Cost Spring-Ford $200,000

The automatic cuts could directly affect the district's budget.

While Spring-Ford's preliminary budget is on the books already, it could still be affected by the looming sequester cuts that are scheduled to occur on March 1 if the federal government can't come to some agreement. 

A White House release on Monday said, "Unless Congress acts by March 1, a series of automatic cuts — called the sequester — will take effect that threaten hundreds of thousands of middle class jobs, and cut vital services for children, seniors, people with mental illness and our men and women in uniform."

Spring-Ford business manager Timothy Anspach said in a phone interview that the budget already had a projected $200,000 loss of federal funds taken into account. 

"There could be more cuts than that," Anspach said. "The IU [Montgomery County Intermediate Unit] could see another $200,000 in cuts."

"It's kind of scary."

Anspach said his concern is how the cuts might ripple through the economy. The sequester could affect not only direct funding, but other areas such as food costs and transportation costs.

"Could there be layoffs? Possibly, or teachers that retire won't be replaced," Anspach said.

Special education is also a concern. 

"This is the fifth year in a row we haven't gotten an increase in special ed funding," said Anspach, "but we're getting less revenue."

The district would even feel the effects of wider economic issues. Parents getting laid off from their jobs could mean more children needing free or reduced cost lunches, which is an increased expenditure for the district. 

Property tax reassessments could also hurt the district's funding. 

"We just came out of a storm with the recession and now we could be facing another storm," Anspach said.

"It's hard to project what total losses could be. Or is the government going to kick this down the road again?" Anspach said. "The government keeps tweaking stuff and making it more difficult to get funds."

However, Anspach said, "Spring-Ford has just about the lowest taxes in the area."

The one positive is that the district has time to work on the problems a sequester might bring. The final budget won't be passed until closer to the end of the year. 

"We'll go [with a budget] based on our best estimate at that point in time," Anspach said.

1 February 26, 2013 at 06:21 PM
Yet the uneducated Republicans will blame Obama for this. The reality is the reason school taxes are so high is because the House (both State and Federal levels) and our Governor keeps cutting state and federal funding for education and won't agree to make millionaires and/or thegas drillers pay a fair rate while locally big cooperations that are raking in profits are demanding lower taxes in the form of reassessments (backed by local Republican elected officials). So who does the burden of supporting the schools with less money end up falling on? The average middle class worker like you and I. At this point I see no reason why ANYONE not making over 250K (profit AFTER write offs and overhead) for small business would vote Republican at this point unless they are either a racist who refuses to back a man of color in the White House or just plain stupid!
Stephen Eickhoff February 26, 2013 at 07:06 PM
This educated independent blames the U.S. Congress and the President for this. Why? Obama agreed to this plan. And I don't blame "millionaires" or "thegas [sic] drillers" either. What is a "fair rate"? Your partisan rant helps no one. I'm not sure why I would be a racist if I voted for a Republican. Do you think all Republicans are black? The GOP recently had a chairman who was black, and has a black Senator, and used to have Allen West in the House from Florida until "racists" in Florida voted a white man in. Condoleeza Rice was Secretary of State. Herman Cain was a Presidential candidate. Black Republican pundits include Walter Williams, Larry Elder, and Thomas Sowell. I suggest you obtain a little education for yourself. Here's a start: calling your opponents racist because they disagree with you is an "ad hominem".
Stephen Eickhoff February 26, 2013 at 10:51 PM
I meant to say, "do you think all Republicans are white," in case that wasn't clear. I might as well add that we have two Republican Indian-American governors-- I don't think they count as "white" either.

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