MD schools could lose millions in sequester

BALTIMORE - Sometimes the best answer you can give a teacher is I don't know.

And for the state's schools, they just don't know yet how sequestration will hurt them.

Federally funded programs such as transportation, special education, head start and about a dozen others stand to lose funding.

"We could lose up to 350 special educators or head start numbers could be adversely impacted people who get rehabilitative services through the dept of rehab services could be negatively impacted we're concerned." State School Superintendent Lillian Lowery says.

And those totals are state wide.

Lowery says they urged school districts months ago to plan ahead and if the state loses money there will be less to give.

On the average districts are preparing for anywhere from a six to ten percent reduction in funding.

Anne Arundel County even set up a special rainy day fund of sorts to deal with sudden shortfalls.

"We estimated that the projected federal impact to us could be about 2.7 million dollars now it could be title one schools it could be special programs transportation it's spread across a number of categories as you know we tried to be proactive about it to set that money aside in 13 to carry us over to 14." AA County School Spokesman Bob Mosier says.

If there is no last minute deal and the deep cuts take effect March first, the impact won't be felt for a while.

Schools will continue as is but as the year goes on things may change.

"Sequestration in it's most Draconian form would just be devastating but even cuts that could occur because of some compromise could still impact in a pretty negative way some of our school districts." Lowery says.

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