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Educators brace for cuts in Federal funding

Educators across the area – along with others who rely on Federal funding – are trying to determine how they’ll absorb the cuts that went into effect over the weekend.
Syracuse (WSYR-TV) - Educators across the area – along with others who rely on Federal funding – are trying to determine how they’ll absorb the cuts that went into effect over the weekend.

Estimates from the State School Board Association show that in Onondaga County, the cuts range from more than a million dollars in the Syracuse School District, to as little as $10,000 in Lyncourt.

The bulk of school funding in Onondaga County comes from the state and local taxpayers, but the Federal government’s contribution is still important.

"It's a particularly difficult hardship because it's hitting a population that's in such great need, students in poverty and students with special needs, so it would be heartbreaking if we can't figure out a solution to preserve those funds,” said Associate Superintendent for Business in North Syracuse Schools Don Keegan.

Keegan says, from his own standpoint, one of the things he would like is a guideline regarding when cuts will actually begin.

State budget cuts to school districts are already creating a strain on area school systems.

"We've got a lot on our plates right now and this is just another $300,000 challenge that we have to deal with,” Keegan said.

"A $72,000 hit we'll be able to absorb, but if that hit continues year after year, after year, then we might have to make some difficult choices on how we do our programming for students,” said West Genesee Schools Superintendent Chris Brown.

The Syracuse City School District says it’s already determining where to cut back to deal with the $1.2 million loss of Federal funds.

CFO Suzanne Slack says it’s something that could have been avoided and now students are paying the price.

Federal funds are used for special needs programs, summer and after-school programs, tutoring, English language learning, and free and reduced lunch programs.

Sequester impact by school district in Onondaga County --
(Source: NYS Schools Boards Association)
  • West Genesee -- $71,957
  • North Syracuse --  $184,097
  • East Syracuse-Minoa -- $74,030
  • Jamesville-DeWitt --  $57,977
  • Jordan-Elbridge -- $37,515
  • Fabius-Pompey -- $15,887
  • Westhill -- $29,185
  • Solvay -- $39,374
  • LaFayette -- $17,370
  • Baldwinsville -- $111,690
  • Fayetteville-Manlius -- $56,831
  • Marcellus -- $30,860
  • Onondaga -- $19,747
  • Liverpool -- $148,776
  • Lyncourt -- $9,690
  • Skaneateles -- $23,307
  • Syracuse -- $1,018,337
  • Tully -- $20,042
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