Today’s ‘sequestration’ number: $5,795,625

That’s how much school districts stand to lose if automatic federal budget cuts go into effect Friday.

Superintendent Tom Luna
State schools superintendent Tom Luna

At least according to the state Department of Education.

The department sent out a “sequestration” update to school districts and charter schools Monday, and told schools to brace for cuts, in the short term and long term.

“While we stand hopeful that Congress will reach a compromise and avoid this potential budget cut to our schools prior to the beginning of next school year, we believe that long-term reductions in federal funding levels are still eminent in future budgets,” chief deputy superintendent Nick Smith wrote.

The good news, for Idaho schools, is that this week’s looming federal cuts would not have an immediate impact. That’s because the schools are still spending money from the 2011-12 federal budget — not the current year’s budget. Consequently, the automatic federal cuts won’t affect Idaho K-12 until the 2013-14 school year.

But if the $85 billion in automatic federal cuts go into effect this week, most nondefense programs would face a 5 percent reduction. Here’s how the state Education Department breaks down the Idaho numbers:

  • Title I and Title II cuts: $3,190,964.
  • Individuals with Disabilities Education Act cuts: $2,604,661.

The state’s numbers are slightly below the White House’s estimates, issued Sunday. The White House said Idaho stood to lose $3.7 million in primary and secondary education programs, and $2.9 million in programs for students with disabilities.

Kevin Richert

Kevin Richert

Senior reporter and blogger Kevin Richert specializes in education politics and education policy. He has more than 30 years of experience in Idaho journalism. He is a frequent guest on "Idaho Reports" on Idaho Public Television and "Idaho Matters" on Boise State Public Radio. Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevinRichert. He can be reached at [email protected]

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