Berrien RESA opposes federal budget cutsPublished 6:57pm Monday, December 10, 2012
BERRIEN SPRINGS — Federal education programs face more than an 8 percent budget cut next year unless Congress intervenes; and, the Berrien Regional Education Service Agency (RESA) school board has adopted a resolution urging Congress to stop these across-the-board cuts that would have a devastating impact upon the school district.
The across-the-board cuts to federal education programs that benefit the RESA would occur under a process called sequestration (defined as the cancellation of budgetary resources) that was enacted under the Budget Control Act of 2011.
For the center-based and countywide programs operated by the RESA, a budget cut of 8.2 percent in federal funding would mean cuts to Title I grants for instructional support, Title II Teacher Quality State Grant, IDEA Section 611 grant funding and funds for Career & Technical Education.
Nationwide, sequestration would cut education funding by more than $4 billion and would affect the Berrien RESA’s budget by more than $555,475 at a time when states and local governments have very limited capacity to absorb further budget cuts.
“Given the budget cuts and adjustments to employee benefits our district has made in recent years, there is simply very little, if anything else, left to cut,” said Dr. Kevin M. Ivers, superintendent of Berrien RESA.
“Any further cuts in education funding could adversely affect the quality of our education programs. This federal funding is used to support the education of our most at-risk students.
“Without this funding, students may not be reading at grade level and their ability to graduate on time may be jeopardized.”
The resolution adopted urges Congress and the current administration to amend the Budget Control Act to mitigate the drastic cuts to education that would affect students and communities, and to protect education as an investment critical to economic stability and American competitiveness.
Currently, bipartisan negotiations are underway in Congress to develop an alternative to sequestration. Berrien RESA’s School Board’s resolution indicates the community’s awareness of this critical issue and is being forwarded to members of Congress to urge their support to avert the sequestration.
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