Eye on Education

Ohio Urban Schools Worry About Reaching the Fiscal Cliff

If the president and Congress don’t reach an agreement on how to reduce the national deficit, more than $500 billion in tax increases and across-the-board spending cuts will take effect Jan. 1. That includes cuts of more than $2 billion to federal K-12 education spending.

It’s called the fiscal cliff. And it could hit Ohio schools hard, particularly urban schools. Some urban schools rely on federal funding more than schools in other areas.

(Stay tuned to StateImpact Ohio next week for more specifics about what could happen to Ohio schools if we reach the fiscal cliff.)

In Cleveland, for example, where all students qualify for free or reduced lunch, the district has already slashed $114 million — close to 9 percent — from its budget over the past two years. Automatic cuts in federal spending could imperil $4 million more.

“We’re counting on federal funding,” said Eric S. Gordon, chief executive of the Cleveland Metropolitan School District, where class sizes are up to 40 students in some schools. “Not to be able to do extras, but just to provide the basic instructional services that you would expect of a school district.”

Read more at: www.nytimes.com

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