Thursday, February 21, 2013

SIMBY: Sequester in My Back Yard

In a recent faculty meeting, we were told of the effects of the looming Sequester on our district if Congress does nothing by February 28. (What a great job!  Do nothing: cause seismic teutonic shifts in the lives of the little people.)

To our small district the sequestration means a loss of $135,000 annually.  This is federal funding that will cut services to only three subgroups: the poor, our second language learners, and the disabled. Losses will come in the form of losing key personnel and resources dedicated to these specific groups.

Nice.

Besides calculating how much time and labor has been expended as everyone--right down to the dogcatcher--has madly readjusted budget projections based on a non-action, we were treated to the image of pushing our most vulnerable children off the school bus, running over them, and then backing up and doing it again.

In our district, we know not only how many students will be affected, but also the faces and names of those, our neighbors, who will be condemned to fall even further behind.

Even if everyone does a do-over after this political temper tantrum, time lost to developing kids has large repercussions later.

In the giant pile of money which exists somewhere, $135,000 is not much. But amplify that cut across every school district and you get a picture of a nation divided into the haves and those who face losing what little they already have.  Of course the employees affected by the cuts will quickly be moving from one category to the other.

Oh, yes, some districts will be able to replace some monies from donations (a la 1,000 points of light?), but really, do we want to cast a safety net that has huge gaping holes?

How will the sequester affect your district?  Please share.