The board has adopted a resolution urging Congress to stop proposed across-the-board cuts of eight-percent it says would have a detrimental impact on the Little Rock School District (LRSD).
In a news release, the LRSD said these cuts to federal education programs that benefit the district 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 LRSD, a budget cut of 8.2-percent in federal funding would mean less access to intervention programs, summer school and after school programs, and fewer extracurricular activities.
Nationally, sequestration would cut education funding by more than $4 billion, and would affect LRSD's budget by more than $1.6 million at a time when state and local governments have very limited capacity to absorb further budget cuts.
"Given the budget cuts and adjustments our local community has made in recent years, there is simply very little, if anything else, left to cut," said LRSD Board President Dianne Curry. "Any further cuts in education funding could adversely affect the quality of our educational programs. "
The resolution adopted urges Congress and the Administration to amend the Budget Control Act to mitigate the drastic cuts to education that would affect our students and communities, and to protect education as an investment critical to economic stability and American competitiveness.
Bipartisan negotiations are underway in Congress and the LRSD has asked the Arkansas congressional delegation to do the following:
- Negotiate a budget resolution prior to December 31, 2012 to prevent sequestration
- Preserve the Department of Education's current budget funding